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Open access

Nada Younes, Isabelle Bourdeau, Harold Olney, Paul Perrotte, Odile Prosmanne, Mathieu Latour, David Roberge, and André Lacroix

Summary

Needle tract seeding is a potential, albeit rare, complication following transcutaneous biopsies, leading to the seeding of tumor cells along the path of the needle. Biopsies of adrenal masses are not routinely recommended and are only indicated, after exclusion of pheochromocytoma, when an adrenal metastasis of a primary extra-adrenal cancer is suspected or when pathological confirmation of inoperable adrenocortical cancer (ACC) may impact treatment. Despite guideline recommendations to avoid primary adrenal biopsy, very few needle tract seeding cases have been reported and none were in the context of an ACC. We report the occurrence of needle tract seeding in a patient following adrenal transcutaneous biopsy leading to ACC abdominal wall recurrence.

Learning points

  • Needle tract seeding is a rare complication of transcutaneous biopsy. It may increase morbidity and impact overall survival. It has yet to be documented in adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC).

  • Adrenal masses can be accurately evaluated for malignancy using a combination of conventional and metabolic imaging, such as CT and fluorodeoxyglucose-PET, obviating the need for biopsies.

  • Adrenal mass biopsy is not indicated in ACC unless advanced ACC is diagnosed, and a pathological confirmation would impact management.

Open access

Nadia Gagnon, Sophie Bernard, Martine Paquette, Catherine Alguire, André Lacroix, Pierre-Olivier Hétu, Harold J Olney, and Isabelle Bourdeau

Background

This study examined the magnitude of changes and the time required to observe maximal changes in LDL-c, HDL-c, triglycerides (Tg) and non-HDL-c after the introduction of mitotane.

Methods

Retrospective study of 45 patients with adrenocortical carcinoma who were treated at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. Clinical and biochemical data were collected, including lipid profiles before and during the first year of treatment with mitotane.

Results

Among the 45 studied patients, 26 (58%) had a complete lipid profile before the introduction of mitotane and at least 1 lipid profile during the first year of treatment, and 19 patients (42%) had a lipid profile following initiation of the treatment. Among the 26 patients who had lipid profiles before and after the introduction of mitotane, the increase of LDL-c was 2.19 mmol/L (76%) (P< 0.0001), HDL-c was 0.54 mmol/L (35%) (P= 0.0002), Tg was 1.80 mmol/L (129%) (P< 0.0001) and non-HDL-c was 2.73 mmol/L (79%) (P< 0.0001). Between the first and the sixth month of mitotane treatment, peak values (n  = 45) of LDL-c and non-HDL-c were reached in 42 patients (93%) and 37 patients (82%), respectively, whereas peak values of HDL-c were reached after 6 months of mitotane treatment in 29 patients (66%). The peak value of Tg was almost equal throughout the first year. The mean peak values of HDL-c, Tg and non-HDL-c showed significant associations with their respective mitotane concentrations (β = 0.352, P= 0.03; β = 0.406, P= 0.02 and β = 0.339, P= 0.05).

Conclusion

The introduction of mitotane produces a clinically significant elevation of lipid parameters (LDL-c, HDL-c, Tg and non-HDL-c) during the first year of treatment.