Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of left adrenal gland masses

Jode DeWitt, M. Alsatie, J. LeBlanc, L. McHenry, S. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background and study aim: Although the left adrenal gland is readily visible by endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), there are few published data on the utility of EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) of this site. The aim of this study was to report our experience of EUS-FNA of left adrenal gland masses. Patients and methods: In this retrospective case series, we reviewed our EUS and cytology databases to identify consecutive patients who underwent EUS-FNA of the left adrenal gland between January 1997 and January 2004. Medical records were reviewed and the results of EUS examinations and cytological investigations were abstracted. Results: Our searches resulted in the identification of a series of 38 consecutive patients who underwent EUS for the evaluation of a lung mass (n = 14), a pancreatic mass (n = 14), obstructive jaundice (n = 1), dysphagia (n = 2), an ampullary adenoma (n = 1), celiac block (n = 1), or a left adrenal gland mass (n = 5). The mean maximal left adrenal mass diameter was 24 mm (range 7-66 mm). Diagnoses after EUS-FNA (the mean number of passes was 3.6) were: metastatic lung cancer (n = 2), esophageal adenocarcinoma (n = 1), melanoma (n = 1), renal cell carcinoma (n=1), and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (n = 1); primary pheochromocytoma (n = 1); benign adrenal tissue (n = 21); and granulomatous inflammation (n=1). Nine aspirations (24%) were nondiagnostic. The absence of a discrete adrenal mass on EUS occurred more frequently in patients with nondiagnostic biopsies than in those with diagnostic biopsies (56% vs. 7%; odds ratio 23.4, 95%Cl 3.5-157.0; P= 0.004).No complications were noted. Conclusions: EUS-FNA of the left adrenal gland is safe and can be useful for the evaluation and staging of suspected malignancy. Nondiagnostic biopsies are more common when sampling diffusely enlarged glands, compared with glands with a focal mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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