Article Abstract

Surgical management of adrenal tumours extending into the right atrium

Authors: Renata Greco, Irene Tsappa, Radu Mihai, Mario Petrou


This paper discusses the surgical approach for the treatment of adrenal tumours extending into the right atrium (RA), using a cardio-pulmonary bypass (CPB) associated with deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA). Pre-operative planning and surgical steps are described in details. The association of CPB with hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) provides a bloodless operating field, direct intra-vascular vision, reduces the risk of embolization and allows extensive inferior vena cava (IVC) or RA repair in cases of infiltration of the vascular wall. Establishing a dedicated multidisciplinary team with experience in managing these challenging cases is fundamental to offer treatment to patients with advanced disease, who would otherwise risk being turned down for surgery. A close collaboration between general and cardiac surgeons and a deep understanding of the surgical procedure steps are fundamental to safely performing these procedures. We advocate centralising adrenal surgery in a small number of units with adequate multidisciplinary support.