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Adrenalectomy for solitary adrenal metastasis from colorectal cancer: A case report

Christopher Kosmidis1*, Christopher Efthimiadis1, George Anthimidis1, Sofia Levva1, Georgia Ioannidou2, Thomas Zaramboukas3, Christos Emmanouilides4, Sofia Baka4, Maria Kosmidou5, Georgios Basdanis1 and Epaminondas Fachantidis1

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Surgery, Interbalkan European Medical Center, Thessaloniki, Greece

2 Departments of Radiology, "Panagia" General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

3 Departments of Pathology, Interbalkan European Medical Center, Thessaloniki, Greece

4 Departments of Oncology, Interbalkan European Medical Center, Thessaloniki, Greece

5 Departments of Internal Medicine, Interbalkan European Medical Center, Thessaloniki, Greece

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Cases Journal 2008, 1:49  doi:10.1186/1757-1626-1-49

Published: 18 July 2008



Patients with adrenal metastasis from various primary tumours are regarded as cases of diffuse systemic spread and considered unsuitable for surgical resection. We herein report an operable case of heterochronic adrenal metastasis from colorectal carcinoma in a 63-year-old woman.

Case presentation

Sixteen months after low anterior resection for the primary tumour, left lower pneumonectomy was performed for a solitary lung metastasis. Four months later a right adrenal metastasis was detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as sole evidence of metastatic disease. A right adrenalectomy was performed. The histopathological examination revealed adenocarcinoma compatible with the colorectal carcinoma resected 19 months earlier. The patient received adjuvant chemotherapy after each operation and is alive and free of disease 21 months after the adrenalectomy.


The possibility of adrenal metastasis should be considered in the follow-up of patients after primary surgery for colorectal cancer, even though other sites are the main metastatic sites. Although the prognosis of adrenal metastasis from colorectal cancer is poor, we suggest that patients with solitary adrenal metastasis may benefit from complete removal of it.