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Doctor insights on: Medical Conditions Mimic Pheochromocytoma

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Dr. Richard Orr
511 Doctors shared insights

Pheochromocytoma (Definition)

A tumor of the adrenal gland. The adrenal glands are small organs that sit above the kidneys and secrete important hormones that are responsible for maintain body fluid and electrolyte levels and helps people respond to stress. A pheochromocytoma can cause the release of too much stress hormone such as epinephrine, leading to periodic increases in blood pressure, flushing, and ...Read more


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Can you tell me of other medical conditions that mimic a pheochromocytoma?

Can you tell me of other medical conditions that mimic a pheochromocytoma?

Yes, some: The typical symptoms of this condition are intermittent high BP which can cause headaches and episodes of anxiety. Either of these two conditions can cause concern and should be part of the differential diagnosis. Your physician should check and record your blood pressure on several (4-5 times) occasions before we can be sure that your BP is labile and needs further tests to rule out pheochromocyto. ...Read more

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What other conditions resemble pheochromocytoma, which includes high hormone levels consistently for 6 months?

What other conditions resemble pheochromocytoma, which includes high hormone levels consistently for 6 months?

High catacholamines: PHEO is a relatively rare condition and there is overstimulation from euro endocrine glands a marked rise in your BP and pulse is a common initial finding. It requires a proper workup with an internist, renal and endo will also be involved. There are other disorders of abnormal catecholamine release but you need a good workup and treatment ...Read more

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What is pheochromocytoma?  

Adrenal tumor: The classic triad presentation is headache, sweating and fast heart rate. Hypertension is the most common presentation. Not uncommonly the high blood pressure and high heart rate come in waves. May not be sustained, sometimes referred to as paroxsymal. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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What is a pheochromocytoma like?

See below: Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal gland. These tumors release chemicals called catecholamines which can cause high blood pressure, headaches, sweating and palpitations and rapid heart beat. The condition sometimes runs in families. The tumor can be diagnosed with urine measurements of the catecholamines. Most tumors are benign and are cured by surgical removal. ...Read more

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How is pheochromocytoma treated?  

How is pheochromocytoma treated?  

Surgery: Remove it. Phentolamine and Phenoxybenzamine are medications that are often used preoperatively to temporarily control symptoms before it's resected. ...Read more

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Where are pheochromocytoma found?

Adrenal gland: This is associated with a mass or hyperplasia of the adrenal gland with elevation of your norepinephrine levels. ...Read more

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How is pheochromocytoma diagnosed?

How is pheochromocytoma diagnosed?

Options: Signs and symptoms are helpful. The 2 best tests for pheo are plasma fractionated metanephrines or 24 hrs urinary metanephrines and catecholamines. Once these are positive, imagine studies will be used to localize the tumor. ...Read more

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What is an episode of pheochromocytoma?

Hormone release: Pheochromocytoma (PCC) is a rare tumor of adrenal gland tissue. When functional they cause adrenal glands to make too much norepinephrine and epinephrine. With hormone release there are usually has three classic symptoms, headache, sweating, and heart palpitations in association with hypertension. Other conditions that can arise are anxiety, nausea, profound sweating and severe headaches : ...Read more

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What is an episode of pheochromocytoma?

Multiple: Findings of tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, headache!
Then flushing, chest pain, heart pain, torn aorta and more!!
Medical emergency! ...Read more

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What are the signs of a pheochromocytoma?

What are the signs of a pheochromocytoma?

Pheochromocytoma: There are whole books written about the symptoms of pheochromocytoma. Classics are hypertension, headache, hyper metabolism, hyperhidrosis, and hyper heart rate. Some will have cafe-au-lait spots. Some will have neurofibromatosis. You can google these images and see if you have them. This is a deadly disease that I specialize in and happy to do 2nd opinion to help you and your team. ...Read more

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What is an episode of pheochromocytoma like?

Too much adrenaline: These are tumors of the adrenal gland which secrete hormones that basically raise blood pressure. Can have episodic very high blood pressure, fast heart rate, skin flushing, headaches. Easy to test for with blood or urine tests. ...Read more

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Is pheochromocytoma inherited or spontaneous?

Is pheochromocytoma inherited or spontaneous?

Kinda both...: Pheochromocytoma (or a fancy way to say an adrenal tumor) may follow a genetic predisposition in some patients; but in others may be random...Or 'spontaneous' as you phrase it. ...Read more

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What is the prognosis with a pheochromocytoma?

Rare but deadly: Prognosis depends on how it's treated. Please find a team of physicians who are familiar and comfortable taking care of this problem: surgeon, anesthesiologist, endocrinologist. ...Read more

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How to know if I suffer from pheochromocytoma?

Symptoms of norepine: Most pheochomocytomas are small and under 10 cm. Occassionally they reach very large sizes growing into adjacent organs like liver. Initially symptoms are frequently not present or are very mild like sweating or rapid pulse. When full outpouring of nor epinephrine and related products are produced blood pressure may bet out of control. ...Read more

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How to tell if I suffer from pheochromocytoma?

Usual presentation: Is extreme hypertension. After that, you will need special blood tests for diagnosis. But this is a rare tumor, and other causes of hypertension are much much more common. ...Read more

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What kind of dr do you see for pheochromocytoma?

What kind of dr do you see for pheochromocytoma?

An endocrinologist: The work up of a possible pheochromocytoma should be the bread/butter of an endocrinologist, although a good general internal medicine doc would be a good substitute if an endo is not available. This tumor is rare. ...Read more

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What should we do if my son has pheochromocytoma?

Team approach: This is a rare but dangerous condition. Make sure the diagnosis was made correctly. You should already have an endocrinologist on the team. Choose a surgeon who has experience in doing these surgeries and make sure the anesthesiologist is also experienced with this surgery as well. Good luck. ...Read more

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