Article Abstract

Incidence, risk factors and clinical significance of postoperative haemodynamic instability after adrenalectomy for phaeochromocytoma

Authors: Joseph P. Thompson, Davinia Bennett, James Hodson, Miriam Asia, John Ayuk, Michael W. O’Reilly, Niki Karavitaki, Wiebke Arlt, Robert P. Sutcliffe


Background: Due to risk of haemodynamic instability (HDI), it has been recommended that patients undergoing adrenalectomy for phaeochromocytoma should be monitored in an intensive care facility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence, risk factors and outcomes of postoperative HDI in these patients. Retrospective cohort study of 46 consecutive patients who underwent open (OA, N=26) or laparoscopic (LA, N=20) adrenalectomy for phaeochromocytoma at a single centre [2007–2017].
Methods: HDI was defined as systolic BP >200 or <90 mmHg, heart rate >120 or <50 bpm or vasopressor therapy within 24 hours. Risk factors for intraoperative and postoperative HDI were evaluated by univariable and multivariable analyses.
Results: Intraoperative hypertension occurred in 25/42 patients (60%). Preoperative plasma normetanephrine levels ≥3,500 pmol/L were significantly associated with intraoperative hypertension on multivariable analysis [odds ratio (OR) 42; 95% CI: 4–429; P=0.002). Postoperative hypotension occurred in 21/45 patients (47%), and 13 (29%) required vasopressor therapy. Preoperative beta-blockade therapy was the only independent risk factor for postoperative hypotension on multivariable analysis (OR 4.0; 95% CI: 1.2–13.9, P=0.029). No patients (0/9) with tumours <5 cm treated by LA needed postoperative vasopressor therapy, compared to 39% (7/18) treated by OA (P=0.059). Complications developed in 9 patients (20%), and were less likely in those with intraoperative hypertension (8% vs. 41%; P=0.019). There was one postoperative death.
Conclusions: Preoperative beta-blockade therapy is an independent risk factor for postoperative HDI after adrenalectomy for phaeochromocytoma. Patients who undergo laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) for phaeochromocytomas <5 cm are unlikely to need postoperative vasopressor therapy, and may not require intensive care monitoring.