QS Study

Pheochromocytoma

This is a rare tumor of chromaffin tissue which secretes catecholamines. Usually, this type of tumor affects one of your two adrenal glands, but it can affect both. In rare cases, it can be cancerous. These malignant tumors will extend like other cancers and can reason severe difficulties. It may develop at any age, though it appears most common in adults aged 20 to 50.

Clinical features – High blood pressure may be your only symptom. But most people have at least one of the following as well:

  1. Hypertension,
  2. Attacks with – (Pallor, Palpitations, Sweating, Headache, Anxiety etc.)
  3. Abdominal pain, vomiting
  4. Constipation,
  5. Weight loss,
  6. Glucose intolerance.

Causes:

The tumor develops in specialized cells, called chromaffin cells, situated in the center of an adrenal gland. These cells release certain hormones, primarily adrenaline and noradrenaline, that help control many body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. The condition also appears to be linked to genetic

Treatment –

  • Surgical interference, surgical treatment to remove a pheochromocytoma usually returns blood pressure to normal.
  • Before surgery α blocker phenoxybenzamine may be used. The tumor is malignant in 10% of cases but may be cured completely by surgical removal.