Malignant adrenal tumors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Adrenal tumors, apart from neuroblastoma, are relatively rare in infancy and childhood. Most adrenal lesions are benign, and both benign and malignant tumors may be hormonally active thus, making accurate preoperative diagnosis difficult. The two main malignant tumors are adrenocortical carcinoma and pheochromocytoma. In both tumors, it may be difficult to determine benign from malignant and the biologic behavior and degree of invasion may portend a more malignant course. Surgical excision is the primary therapy for both tumors, including excision of metastatic and recurrent tumor. An open procedure should be considered for invasive adrenocortical carcinoma and in pheochromocytomas in which preoperative imaging demonstrates metastatic nodal disease. A laparoscopic approach is preferred for lesions in which preoperative imaging demonstrates a localized lesion. Chemotherapy, although without proven efficacy, is utilized in some children with metastatic or unresectable disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Adrenocortical carcinoma
  • Malignant adrenal tumors
  • Pheochromocytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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