Diseases And Treatments

The 6 Main Causes of Pheochromocytoma


The Major Causes of Pheochromocytomawhich we should not ignore. In addition, aPheochromocytoma(PCC) is a rare tumor that can form in cells in the middle of the adrenal glands. In case ofPheochromocytoma, a tumor can cause the adrenal glands to make too much of the hormones norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline). Together, these hormones control heart rate, metabolism, blood pressure and response to body stimulation. Most of thePheochromocytomagrows within the adrenal glands. About 10% grow on chromaffin cells outside the adrenal glands. Less than 10% ofPheochromocytomawhich grow inside the adrenal glands are carcinogenic, but this percentage is higher for those outside the adrenal glands.

aPheochromocytomacan occur in men or women at any age, but are more common in people between the ages of 20 and 40. Some people who developPheochromocytomahave a rare inherited condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia that makes them prone to tumors in the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands.

aPheochromocytomacan also develop in people who have von Hippel-Lindau disease and in those who have neurofibromatosis (von Recklinghausen's disease) or a number of other genetic diseases. It is likely that almost 50% of people who have pococromocitomas have a genetic or familial disease, such as these. So check it out nowThe 6 Main Causes of Pheochromocytoma:



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Causes of Pheochromocytoma:Doctors do not know why most of these tumors form. About 30%, however, seem to run in families. These are more likely to be cancerous than those that appear randomly. They can spread to other parts of your body, including your liver, lungs, or bones. Tumors are most common in people with hereditary disorders or conditions, including:

  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type II
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease
  • Hereditary paraganglioma syndrome
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease, a condition in which cysts and tumors grow in the central nervous system, kidney, adrenal glands, or other areas of the body
  • Type 1 neurofibromatosis, development of skin tumors and optic nerves
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2), a form of thyroid cancer that develops in conjunction withPheochromocytoma

Symptoms of Pheochromocytoma:aPheochromocytomacan be quite small. However, even a smallPheochromocytomacan produce large amounts of potent catecholamines. Catecholamines are hormones such as adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine and dopamine, which tend to increase significantly increase blood pressure and heart rate and cause other symptoms usually associated with situations that threaten life.


The most prominent sign of aPheochromocytomais high blood pressure, which can be very serious. However, only about 1 in 1000 people with high blood pressurePheochromocytoma. The main symptoms ofPheochromocytomainclude:

  • Severe headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Quick Breathing
  • Cold and damp skin
  • Pain in the chest and stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Disorders of vision
  • Tingling Toes
  • Constipation
  • A strange sense of imminent destruction

When these symptoms appear suddenly and forcefully, they may feel like a panic attack. In half of those affected, the symptoms will come and go, sometimes triggered by pressure on the tumor, massage, drugs (especially anesthetics and beta-blockers), emotional trauma and, on rare occasions, the simple act of urinate. However, many people may have these symptoms as manifestations of a state of anxiety, not a glandular disease.

Diagnosis of Pheochromocytoma:Many people who havePheochromocytomaare never diagnosed because the symptoms are very similar to those of other conditions. The mainPheochromocytomainclude:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging

Doctors may not suspectPheochromocytoma, because almost half of the people do not present symptoms beyond the persistent arterial hypertension. However, when high blood pressure occurs in a young person, it comes and goes, or accompanies other symptoms ofPheochromocytoma, doctors may request certain laboratory tests.

For example, the level of certain catecholamines or products created when these catecholamines are broken down can be measured in blood or urine samples. Due to high blood pressure and other symptoms, doctors may prescribe a beta-blocker before knowing that the cause is aPheochromocytoma. Beta-blockers may worsen blood pressure in people withPheochromocytoma. This paradoxical reaction often makes the diagnosis ofPheochromocytoma.

If the level of catecholamines is high, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may help locate thePheochromocytoma. A test with injected radioactive chemicals that tend to accumulate inPheochromocytomacan also be useful. A scan is then made to see where the radioactive chemicals are. Genetic testing can be done, especially if doctors suspect a genetic disease.


Treatments of Pheochromocytoma:The main treatments ofPheochromocytomainclude:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor
  • Medications to control blood pressure.

Usually, the best treatment is to remove thePheochromocytoma. Surgery is often delayed, however, until doctors can control the secretion of catecholamines with drugs, since having elevated levels of catecholamines may be dangerous during surgery. Phenoxybenzamine or a similar drug is usually given to stop the hormonal action.

Once this step is performed, a beta blocker can be administered safely to other control symptoms. If thePheochromocytomais cancerous and spread, chemotherapy rarely cures the tumor. New chemotherapy drugs, such as temozolomide and sunitinib, appear to help slow tumor growth.



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Treatment with a radioisotope known as metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) targeting tumor tissue may also be highly effective. The dangerous effects of excess catecholamines secreted by the tumor can almost always be blocked by continuing to take phenoxybenzamine or a similar drug and beta blockers.



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