That the clinical presentations, biochemical profiles, and surgical outcomes of patients treated with laparoscopic vs open adrenalectomy for primary hyperaldosteronism are different.
Design, Settings, Patients, and Interventions
The medical records of 80 patients with primary hyperaldosteronism who underwent open adrenalectomy between 1975 and 1986 or laparoscopic adrenalectomy between 1993 and 1998 at the University of California–San Francisco were reviewed by a single unblinded researcher (W.T.S.).
Main Outcome Measures
Severity of hypertension and hypokalemia at diagnosis, their improvement after adrenalectomy, and operative complications.
Thirty-eight patients underwent open adrenalectomy and 42 patients underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy. The patients who underwent open adrenalectomy had documented hypertension for a median of 5 years before surgery; all had diastolic blood pressures greater than 100 mm Hg. Laparoscopically treated patients had documented hypertension for a median of 2.5 years preoperatively, and 20 (48%) had diastolic blood pressures greater than 100 mm Hg. The median preoperative serum potassium levels for the open and laparoscopic groups were 2.6 mmol/L and 3.3 mmol/L, respectively; the mean serum aldosterone levels were 1.47 nmol/L and 1.30 nmol/L. Thirty-two (84%) of the 38 patients who underwent open surgery and 41 (98%) of the 42 patients treated laparoscopically had adrenal adenomas. The sensitivity of preoperative computed tomographic scanning for adenomas was 83% for the patients treated with open adrenalectomy and 93% for those treated laparoscopically. There were 4 postoperative complications in the open surgery group and none in the laparoscopic group. Postoperatively, 30 (81%) of 37 patients (excluding 1 patient who died of adrenocortical carcinoma) in the open surgery group and 37 (88%) of 42 patients treated laparoscopically were normotensive. Postoperative values were 3.6 to 5.0 of serum potassium per liter and 3.5 to 4.9 of serum potassium per liter in the open and laparoscopic groups, respectively.
Patients who are treated with laparoscopic adrenalectomy for primary hyperaldosteronism are being referred with less severe hypertension and hypokalemia than patients formerly treated with open adrenalectomy. Patients treated laparoscopically had fewer postoperative complications and were equally likely to improve in blood pressure and hypokalemia. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy has become the treatment of choice for patients with primary hyperaldosteronism because of lower morbidity.