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Minerva Endocrinol. 2006 Jun;31(2):183-9.

Pheochromocytoma associated with adrenocortical tumor in the same gland. Two case reports and literature review.

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  • 1Day Hospital of Internal Medicine and Hypertension, Department of Clinical Sciences, University La Sapienza, Rome Italy.


Pheochromocytomas are catecholamine-producing neuroendocrine tumours arising from chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla or extra-adrenal paraganglionic system that show 2 distinctive features, rarity and clinical variability. Pheochromocytoma occasionally is associated with pathological lesions of the adrenal cortex. We present 2 cases of patients referred to our hospital with a finding of clinical suspected pheochromocytoma. Both of them were hypertensive; the first patient with typical symptoms of pheochromocytoma and the second patient with chest pain and hypertension resistant to pharmacological treatment. The diagnosis of pheochromocytoma was confirmed in both cases with laboratory analysis and the lesion was achieved by employing 3 imaging techniques: computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and scintigraphy with (123)I-metaiodobenzilguanidine (MIBG). The patients underwent adrenalectomy and in the same adrenal gland we found a pheochromocytoma associated with a nonfunctioning cortical adenoma. As far as we know few cases with this association are available in the literature.

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