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L Amar, L Guignat, F Tissier, B Richard, O Vignaux, Y Fulla, P Legmann, X Bertagna, and P Bonnichon

OBJECTIVE: To present first-line thoracic surgery made possible by localization studies in three patients with ectopic parathyroid adenomas. DESIGN AND METHODS: Three patients with ectopic parathyroid tissue in the mediastinum were examined by ultrasound, technetium-99m sestamibi scintigraphy, computed tomography (CT), and venous catheterization with measurement of parathyroid hormone. Without previous cervical exploration, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) was used in all cases to avoid the need for thoracic open surgical procedures. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The mediastinal parathyroid glands were all detected at scintigraphy, and CT and venous catheterization were helpful in anatomic and functioning characterization. All pathologic glands were successfully resected, with only one minor complication. VATS can safely remove a deep mediastinal parathyroid adenoma and avoid more aggressive open approaches. In an experienced referral center, systematic and sophisticated imaging studies may accurately identify and localize rare ectopic parathyroid adenomas, and avoid cervical surgery.

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Inès Hacini, Kelly De Sousa, Sheerazed Boulkroun, Tchao Meatchi, Laurence Amar, Maria-Christina Zennaro, and Fabio L Fernandes-Rosa


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common form of secondary and curable hypertension. Different germline and somatic mutations are found in aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and familial forms of the disease, while the causes of bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (BAH) remain largely unknown. Adrenalectomy is the recommended treatment for patients with APA; however, 6% of patients are not cured and show persistent PA after surgery suggesting BAH. The objective of this study was to analyze clinical data of patients with APA without biochemical success after adrenalectomy as well as the histological and genetic characteristics of their adrenal glands.

Design and methods

Clinical data of 12 patients with partial and absent biochemical cure were compared to those from 39 PA patients with hormonal cure after surgery. Histological, morphological, and genetic characterization of the adrenals was carried out by CYP11B2 and CYP11B1 immunostaining and by CYP11B2-guided NGS.


Patients with absent hormonal cure displayed a longer duration of arterial hypertension and lower lateralization index of aldosterone production. In ten patients, APAs expressing CYP11B2 were identified. No difference in histological and morphological characteristics was observed between patients with or without a hormonal cure. Somatic mutations in APA driver genes were identified in all CYP11B2 positive APAs; CACNA1D mutations were the most frequent genetic abnormality.


Patients with partial and absent biochemical cure were diagnosed later and exhibited a lower lateralization index of aldosterone production, suggesting asymmetric aldosterone production in the context of BAH. Somatic mutations in adrenal glands from those patients indicate common mechanisms underlying BAH and APA.

Free access

P F Plouin, L Amar, O M Dekkers, M Fassnacht, A P Gimenez-Roqueplo, J W M Lenders, C Lussey-Lepoutre, O Steichen, and on behalf of the Guideline Working Group

Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare neuroendocrine tumours. Standard treatment is surgical resection. Following complete resection of the primary tumour, patients with PPGL are at risk of developing new tumoural events. The present guideline aims to propose standardised clinical care of long-term follow-up in patients operated on for a PPGL. The guideline has been developed by The European Society of Endocrinology and based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) principles. We performed a systematic review of the literature and analysed the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENS@T) database. The risk of new events persisted in the long term and was higher for patients with genetic or syndromic diseases. Follow-up in the published cohorts and in the ENS@T database was neither standardised nor exhaustive, resulting in a risk of follow-up bias and in low statistical power beyond 10 years after complete surgery. To inform patients and care providers in this context of low-quality evidence, the Guideline Working Group therefore prepared recommendations on the basis of expert consensus. Key recommendations are the following: we recommend that all patients with PPGL be considered for genetic testing; we recommend assaying plasma or urinary metanephrines every year to screen for local or metastatic recurrences or new tumours; and we suggest follow-up for at least 10 years in all patients operated on for a PPGL. High-risk patients (young patients and those with a genetic disease, a large tumour and/or a paraganglioma) should be offered lifelong annual follow-up.