Improvement of cardiovascular risk factors after adrenalectomy in patients with adrenal tumors and Subclinical Cushing Syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Irina Bancos
  • Fares Alahdab
  • Rachel Crowley
  • Danae Delivanis
  • Dana Erickson
  • Neena Natt
  • Massimo Terzolo
  • William Young Jr
  • M. Hassan Murad

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition, and Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Evidence based practice center, Center for the science of healthcare delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • St Vincent's University Hospital & University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Internhal Medicine 1, Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Italy


Objective: Beneficial effects of adrenalectomy on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with Subclinical Cushing Syndrome (SCS) are uncertain. We sought to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis with the following objectives: 1) determine the effect of adrenalectomy compared to conservative management on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with SCS and 2) compare the effect of adrenalectomy on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with SCS versus those with a non-functioning (NF) adrenal tumor. 
Methods: Medline In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial were searched on November 17th , 2015. Reviewers extracted data and assessed methodological quality in duplicate.
Results: We included 26 studies reporting on 584 patients with SCS and 457 patients with NF adrenal tumors. Studies used different definitions of SCS. Patients with SCS undergoing adrenalectomy demonstrated an overall improvement in cardiovascular risk factors (61% for hypertension, 52% for diabetes mellitus, 45% for obesity and 24% for dyslipidemia). When compared to conservative management, patients with SCS undergoing adrenalectomy experienced improvement in hypertension (RR 11, 95% CI 4.3 - 27.8) and diabetes mellitus (RR 3.9, 95%CI 1.5- 9.9), but not dyslipidemia (RR 2.6, 41 95%CI 0.97 -7.2) or obesity (RR 3.4 (95%CI 0.95-12)). Patients with NF adrenal tumors experienced improvement in hypertension (21/54 patients), however, insufficient data exist for comparison to patients with SCS.
 Conclusions: Available low to moderate quality evidence from heterogeneous studies suggests a beneficial effect of adrenalectomy on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with SCS overall and as compared to conservative management.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) R283-R295
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Early online date22 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016