Pitfalls in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma: A case series and review of the literature

Mine Adas, Bora Koc, Gokhan Adas, Orhan Yalcin, Sebahattin Celik, Özgür Kemik


Background: Pheochromocytomas (PC) are neuroendocrine catecholamine-releasing tumors, which arise from chromaffin cellsin the adrenal medulla. The clinical presentation of PC depends mostly on the capacity of chromaffin cells to synthesize andrelease catecholamines, including noradrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine and others. In this case series, we present the pitfalls inthe diagnosis and treatment of pheochromocytoma in which the clinical presentation and results of laboratory, radiologic, andnuclear investigations led to an incorrect diagnosis.

Case presentation: From 2002 to 2013, seven patients who were misdiagnosed and had pitfalls during treatment were foundamong 30 patients with pheochromocytoma. We retrospectively reviewed all the medical records of the patients. The datarecorded for these seven patients included general demographic data, medical history, symptoms, imaging and laboratory results,histologic interpretation of biopsy and final pathology, and morbidities or mortalities.

Conclusion: Correct diagnosis and management of pheochromocytoma is clinically important because misdiagnosis leads tohigh morbidity and mortality secondary to hypertensive crisis. The critical interpretation of each diagnostic test, attentive reviewof functional examinations, anatomic imaging methods, and careful history taking is essential for a correct diagnosis.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jer.v2n2p49


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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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