Radiofrequency ablation treatment for aldosterone-producing adenomas.

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To review the current status of radiofrequency ablation as a primary treatment for hyperfunctioning adrenal nodules, predominantly aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs).


Radiofrequency ablation is an established treatment for focal benign and malignant lesions, including metastatic disease to the adrenal gland. Hyperaldosteronism is the leading cause of secondary hypertension with up to 80% due to APA, statistically the most common functioning adrenal nodule. Although surgery remains the recommended treatment of choice for confirmed unilateral functioning adrenal nodules, radiofrequency ablation offers a less-invasive approach, with results comparable with surgery.


Radiofrequency ablation of functioning adrenal nodules is a newer application of a technology in use for almost 2 decades. Although limited, reports to date suggest that results are comparable with those of laparoscopic adrenalectomy, but with advantages including being a less-invasive outpatient procedure with lower morbidity, faster recovery, and lower cost. However, the current data are all retrospective, the number of patients treated is small, and reported long-term results are limited.

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