Laparoscopic resection of primary adrenal ganglioneuroma: A case report and review of the literature

Adrenal ganglioneuroma (AGN) is an extremely rare, benign tumor that originates from the neural crest tissue of the sympathetic nervous system.

The majority of cases are detected incidentally, since the disease often lacks clear clinical manifestations or is asymptomatic. In addition, AGN is often misdiagnosed as being an adrenal adenoma or adrenal pheochromocytoma.

The present study describes a 58-year-old female who visited the outpatient clinic of the Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical College (Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China) with symptoms of face and lower extremity dropsy.

Color Doppler ultrasonography revealed a solid tumor in the right kidney, and abdominal computed tomography identified an irregular, solid tumor measuring ~6×4.5×7 cm(3) and arising from the right adrenal gland, with a clear boundary. Magnetic resonance imaging was not performed.

An initial diagnosis of adrenal adenoma was established. The patient was treated by laparoscopy in order to remove the tumor. However, following surgery, a pathological examination suggested that the tumor was a GN originating from the adrenal medulla.

The formation of a correct diagnosis can be extremely challenging, as AGNs do not exhibit any specific clinical manifestations. Therefore, detection often depends entirely upon imaging studies, and the final diagnosis can be only by confirmed following a histopathological evaluation.

Oncol Lett. 2015 May;9(5):2167-2170. Epub 2015 Mar 9.

Zhou Y1, Liang Q1, Ou WT1, Li ZY2, Liu QL1.

1 Department of Oncology, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang, Guangdong 524001, P.R. China.

2 Department of Radiotherapy, Cancer Center of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510095, P.R. China.