Background: Lymph node metastasis is an established predictor of poor outcome for adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC); however, routine lymphadenectomy during surgical resection of ACC is not widely performed and its therapeutic role remains unclear. Methods: Patients undergoing margin-negative resection for localized ACC were identified from a multi-institutional database. Patients were stratified into 2 groups based on the surgeon’s effort or not to perform a lymphadenectomy as documented in the operative note. Clinical, pathologic, and outcome data were compared between the 2 groups. Results: Of 120 patients who met inclusion criteria from 1993 to 2014, 32 (27 %) underwent lymphadenectomy. Factors associated with lymphadenectomy were tumor size (12 vs. 9.5 cm; p = .007), palpable mass at presentation (26 vs. 12 %; p = .07), suspicious lymph nodes on preoperative imaging (44 vs. 7 %; p < .001), and need for multivisceral resection (78 vs. 36 %; p < .001). Median number of lymph nodes harvested was higher in the lymphadenectomy group (5.5 vs. 0; p < .001). In-hospital mortality (0 vs. 1.3 %; p = .72) and grade 3/4 complication rates (0 vs. 12 %; p = .061) were not significantly different. Patients who underwent lymphadenectomy had improved overall survival (5-year 76 vs. 59 %; p = .041). The benefit of lymphadenectomy on overall survival persisted on multivariate analysis (HR = 0.17; p = .006) controlling for adverse preoperative and intraoperative factors associated with lymphadenectomy, such as tumor size, palpable mass, irregular tumor edges, suspicious nodes on imaging, and multivisceral resection. Conclusions: In this multicenter study of adrenocortical carcinoma patients undergoing R0 resection, the surgeon’s effort to dissect peritumoral lymph nodes was independently associated with improved overall survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas