A pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the interior portion, or medulla, of the adrenal glands that can release high levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. A pheochromocytoma can also be located elsewhere in the body in similar specialized tissue. In this case, they are referred to as extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas or paragangliomas. Most pheochromocytomas are benign, but about 10% are malignant.
The substances secreted by the tumor cause a number of specific symptoms and signs related to excess epinephrine and norepinephrine. Headache, sweating, and fast heart rate are the characteristic symptoms. Other associated symptoms and signs can include
- high blood pressure,
- shortness of breath,
- tremor, and
- weight loss.
Cause of pheochromocytoma
Doctors do not understand the cause of a pheochromocytoma.
Other pheochromocytoma symptoms and signs
- Fast Heart Rate
- High Blood Pressure
- Shortness of Breath
- Weight Loss
Main Article on Pheochromocytoma Symptoms and Signs
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