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Arch Surg. 1990 Aug;125(8):978-81.

Current diagnosis and treatment of pheochromocytoma in children. Experience with 22 consecutive tumors in 14 patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.


Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor of childhood. In comparison with adults with pheochromocytomas, children have a higher incidence of bilaterality, familial association, and extra-adrenal location. Fourteen children with 22 tumors were treated during the period 1970 through 1988. Children presented at a mean age of 13 years. Most children (10 of 14) presented with sustained hypertension. The majority of tumors were located with a combination of computed tomography and iodine 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine scanning. Eight adrenal and six extra-adrenal tumors were resected. Four children underwent bilateral adrenalectomy. Follow-up data are available on 9 of the 14 children. All of these patients remain normotensive without medication. Preoperative examination of children with pheochromocytoma using the iodine 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine scan provides an accurate diagnosis of adrenal and extra-adrenal tumors, thus making feasible resection of this rare tumor with complete cure.

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