Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Pheochromocytoma Overview

What is pheochromocytoma?
A person with pheochromocytoma has a tumor that produces excessive amounts of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are hormones made by the adrenal glands. These hormones help regulate the heart rate and blood pressure. The heart rate and blood pressure increase when high levels of these hormones are in the bloodstream. In most cases, pheochromocytoma tumors form in the adrenal gland, but tumors may also occur outside the adrenal gland. The cause of pheochromocytoma is unknown.

What are the symptoms of pheochromocytoma?
Symptoms of pheochromocytoma include rapid pulse, high blood pressure, headache, chest pain, abdominal pain, faintness, tremor, constipation, weight loss, anxiousness, nervousness, and excessive sweating.

How does the doctor treat pheochromocytoma?
Treatment for pheochromocytoma requires surgery to remove the tumor. Before surgery, the high blood pressure and rapid heart rate require treatment with medications.

Continue to Pheochromocytoma Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pheochromocytoma References
  1. Manger WM, Eisenhofer G. Pheochromocytoma: diagnosis and management update. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2004 Dec;6(6):477-84. [15527694]
  2. Maxwell PH. A common pathway for genetic events leading to pheochromocytoma. Cancer Cell. 2005 Aug;8(2):91-3. [16098460]
  3. Pawlu C, Bausch B, Reisch N, Neumann HP. Genetic testing for pheochromocytoma-associated syndromes. Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2005 Jun;66(3):178-85. [15988378]
  4. Westphal SA. Diagnosis of a pheochromocytoma. Am J Med Sci. 2005 Jan;329(1):18-21. [15654175]
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