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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1999 Dec;123(12):1274-9.

Pheochromocytoma associated with neuroendocrine carcinoma. A new type of composite pheochromocytoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The coexistence of pheochromocytoma and other tumor types in a single adrenal gland has been rarely documented. This type of pheochromocytoma is designated "composite" or "mixed," depending on whether the pheochromocytoma and the nonpheochromocytoma components show the same embryologic origin. The nonpheochromocytoma components reported in the composite pheochromocytoma include ganglioneuroma, ganglioneuroblastoma, neuroblastoma, and malignant schwannoma. The components found in the mixed pheochromocytoma include adrenal cortical neoplasms and spindle cell sarcoma. We report a unique case of composite pheochromocytoma in which the nonpheochromocytoma element is a neuroendocrine carcinoma. The histologic and the immunohistochemical profiles of the 2 distinct components of this tumor were typical for those of pheochromocytoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma. This dual differentiation was also supported by ultrastructural findings. This case not only broadens the morphologic spectrum of composite pheochromocytoma but also provides some additional insight into the histogenesis of this rare but fascinating type of tumor.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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