Pheochromocytoma is a tumor frequently sought and rarely found. It is associated with spectacular cardiovascular disturbances and, when correctly diagnosed and properly treated, it is curable; when undiagnosed or improperly treated, it can be fatal. Catecholamine-producing tumors that arise from chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla and sympathetic ganglia are termed pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, respectively. However, the term pheochromocytoma has become the generic name for all catecholamine-producing tumors. The biochemical diagnosis is straightforward. The localization of pheochromocytoma has been greatly facilitated by advances in computerized imaging and meta-iodobenzylguanidine scanning. Treatment with preoperative α- and β-adrenergic blockade followed by surgical excision of the pheochromocytoma are associated with very low morbidity and mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism