Introduction: Cavernous hemangioma of the adrenal gland is a rare benign tumor characterized by the presence of blood-fil- led, dilated vascular spaces. These adrenal masses are usually non-functioning and the patients have no symptoms so the diagnosis is incidental.
Methods: We performed a systematic literature review for all articles published until April 2015. The initial search identified 98 publications. We considered some characteristics: the mean age of the patients at diagnosis was 59 years (range 19 - 84); there were approximately 1.7 times more female patients than male patients; mean diameter of the lesions was 10.3 cm (range 2 - 25). Surgical treatment was more often open with midline or subcostal incision.
Results: From literature analysis we know that small adrenal hemangiomas are usually asymptomatic. Only four patients in our literature review show endocrinologic disturbances with three cases of subclinical Cushing’s syndrome and a case of hyperaldo- steronism. The pre-operative radiologic features play a fundamental role for correct surgical approach. On enhanced Computed Tomography (CT) scan adrenal hemangiomas tend to be heterogeneous, hypodense lesions with high-density rim of tissue at the periphery. On Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) common findings associated with adrenal hemangiomas are hypointense inhomo- geneous masses with central hyperintensity on T1 images and a high intensity peripheral rim on T2 images due to hemorrhage or necrosis.
Conclusion: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is considered the standard treatment in case of benign lesions. Some authors sugge- st that the main limitation during laparoscopic dissection for large and potentially malign adrenal tumors is incomplete resection and capsular disruption with increased risk of local recurrence and intra-abdominal neoplastic dissemination. We recommend for these patients an integrated multidisciplinary approach that considers endocrine studies, preoperative radiologic findings and the expe- rience of surgical team.
adrenal hemangioma, adrenal cavernous hemangioma, laparoscopic adrenalectomy, laparoscopy, laparoscopic surgery, adrenal surgery