Pheochromocytoma – why is its early diagnosis so important for patient?

Authors: Tomáš Zelinka ;  Jiří Widimský Jr
Authors‘ workplace: Centrum pro výzkum, diagnostiku a léčbu hypertenze III. interní kliniky – kliniky endokrinologie a metabolizmu 1. LF UK a VFN Praha, přednosta prof. MUDr. Štěpán Svačina, DrSc., MBA
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2015; 61(5): 487-491
Category: Reviews


Pheochromocytoma may present with various clinical signs, symptoms due to continuous and/or paroxysmal release of catecholamines. Arterial hypertension may be sustained and/or paroxysmal and palpitations are mainly due to sinus tachycardia. In some cases, even as the first manifestation of pheochromocytoma, may occur severe cardiovascular complications such as hypertensive emergency, myocardial ischemia, cardiomyopathy and heart failure, multisystem crisis or shock. Catecholamine release may be also associated with arrhythmias – tachycardias (supraventricular or ventricular) or less frequently bradycardias (AV blocks and junctional). The effect of catecholamines is not restricted to myocardium, but may also lead to cerebrovascular impairment such as transient ischemic attack or stroke. As many of these complications may be life-threatening, the only prevention is early diagnosis of pheochromocytoma and proper treatment, in particular in specialized centers.

Key words:
arrhythmias – catecholamines – cerebrovascular impairment – hypertension – myocardial ischemia – orthostatic hypotension -pheochromocytoma


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