Objective: The role of percutaneous adrenal biopsy in a high-risk population for adrenal malignancy has not been fully investigated. Our aim was to describe the clinical presentation leading to the adrenal biopsy and evaluate the diagnostic performance, complications and non diagnostic rate of adrenal biopsy. Design: Single-centre, retrospective cohort study. Patients and Measurements: Medical records of patients who underwent adrenal biopsy between 1994 and 2014 were reviewed. Adrenal biopsy outcome was compared to a predefined reference standard. Results: Biopsy was performed in 418 patients [62% men, median age 69 years (range, 15–91)] on 419 adrenal lesions, median size 3·1 cm (range, 0·6–24). The main indication for adrenal mass biopsy was (349/419, 83%) suspected adrenal metastasis from a known or suspected extra-adrenal primary source. Only 116 of 419, 28% of cases had prebiopsy biochemical testing for pheochromocytoma. Biopsy-related complications occurred in 4% of the patients. Histology revealed a metastasis in 231 of 419 (55%), benign adrenal tissue in 137 of 419 (33%), adrenocortical carcinoma in eight of 419 (2%), other lesions in 23 of 419 (5%) including seven cases of pheochromocytoma and six cases of infectious process. Biopsy was nondiagnostic in 20 of 419 (5%). All adrenal masses with unenhanced radiodensity ≤10 HU (42/137, 31%) proved to be benign adrenal adenomas. Adrenal biopsy diagnosed malignancy with a sensitivity of 88·5%, specificity of 91·5%, positive predictive value of 93·4% and negative predictive value of 85·5%. Conclusion: When used in the appropriate clinical setting, adrenal biopsy is a powerful tool in the diagnostic algorithm of the evaluation of adrenal masses with features suspicious for malignancy. Efforts to increase awareness to perform biochemical testing for pheochromocytoma prior to adrenal biopsy are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism