Neuroendocrine stress response in patients undergoing benign ovarian cyst surgery by laparoscopy, minilaparotomy, and laparotomy

Giovanni Scambia, Maria Gabriella Ferrandina, Elisabetta Marana, Maria Lodovica Maussier, Raffaella Parpaglioni, Francesco Meo, Mario Sciarra, Riccardo Marana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objective. To quantify and compare neuroendocrine stress responses during and immediately after surgery by laparoscopy, minilaparotomy, and laparotomy for benign ovarian cysts. Design. Prospective study (Canadian Task Force classification II-1). Setting. Tertiary care university hospital. Patients. Thirty healthy women with no major diseases and without endocrine disorders. Interventions. Surgery for benign ovarian cysts performed by laparoscopy (10), minilaparotomy (10), or laparotomy (10). Measurements and Main Results. Venous blood samples were collected at fixed times as follows: at 8 A.M. in the ward before transferring the patient to the operating room (time 0), 30 minutes after the beginning of surgery (time 1), at the end of surgery after extubation with the patient awake (time 2), and 2 and 4 hours after the end of surgery (times 3 and 4). We evaluated intraoperative and postoperative variations of the following stress-related markers: norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), human growth hormone (hGH), prolactin (PRL), and cortisol, and postoperative pain. No differences were present in demographic characteristics and operating times in the three groups. No anesthesiologic or surgical complications occurred. Postoperative pain was similar in the laparoscopy and minilaparotomy group but significantly higher in the laparotomy group (p <0,001). Serum levels of markers were not significantly different among the groups at baseline. In the laparoscopy group the increase of hGH was limited to intraoperative time (p <0.05); increases in NE, E, ACTH, and PRL were limited to intraoperative and early postoperative time after extubation (p <0.01), with only PRL persisting with significantly higher levels after the end of surgery (p <0.05). In the minilaparotomy group no increase was detected for hGH, a significant intraoperative increase in cortisol was present (p <0.05), and NE, E, ACTH, and PRL were significantly higher even after the end of surgery (p <0.01). In this group levels of NE, E, and hGH were significantly higher than in the laparoscopy group 2 and 4 hours after the end of surgery (p <0.05). In the laparotomy group significant intraoperative increases were present for all stress markers and persisted until after extubation for ACTH (p <0.01) and to the postoperative period for NE (p <0.01), E (p <0.01), cortisol (p <0.01), PRL (p <0,05), and hGH (p <0.01). In this group levels of NE, E, ACTH, and hGH were significantly higher than those in the laparoscopy group from the beginning (NE p <0.05, E p <0.01, ACTH p <0.05, hGH p <0.01) until after the end of surgery. Comparison of laparotomy and minilaparotomy groups showed the former to have significantly higher plasma levels of E, cortisol, and hGH in intraoperative and postoperative times (p <0.001); significantly higher NE at sampling times 1 and 2 (p <0.001) and time 4 (p <0.01), and no difference at sampling time 3; and ACTH significantly higher only during surgery (p <0.01). Conclusion. Laparoscopic surgery causes minimal activation of stress hormones, which in some instances is confined to the intraoperative period. Minilaparotomy may be a valid alternative to laparoscopy in high-risk patients who cannot tolerate abdominal distention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Biological Markers
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Epinephrine
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Laparoscopy
  • Laparotomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosecretion
  • Neurosecretory Systems
  • Norepinephrine
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Postoperative Period
  • Probability
  • Prolactin
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stress
  • adrenalin
  • article
  • clinical article
  • controlled study
  • corticotropin
  • female
  • growth hormone
  • human
  • hydrocortisone
  • intermethod comparison
  • laparoscopic surgery
  • laparotomy
  • neuroendocrinology
  • noradrenalin
  • ovary cyst
  • prolactin, adult
  • surgical stress, Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuroendocrine stress response in patients undergoing benign ovarian cyst surgery by laparoscopy, minilaparotomy, and laparotomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this