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J Surg Case Rep. 2014 May 12;2014(5). pii: rju030. doi: 10.1093/jscr/rju030.

Adrenocortical carcinoma posing as a pheochromocytoma: a diagnostic dilemma.

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  • 1S.M.S Medical College and Attached Hospitals, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • 2S.M.S Medical College and Attached Hospitals, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.


Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a malignant tumour arising from the adrenal cortex, whereas pheochromocytoma is a tumour of the adrenal medulla with occasional presence at extra-adrenal sites. Most of the adrenocortical tumours present clinically with Cushing's syndrome and signs of virilization due to over-production of the respective hormones. It is, however, rare for an adrenocortical tumour to present clinically as a pheochromocytoma. We report the case of a 45-year-old female presenting with clinical symptoms and signs of pheochromocytoma and investigations that resulted in a diagnostic dilemma. The histopathological examination confirmed the presence of ACC after the tumour was excised. This phenomenon was due to the presence of neuroendocrine features of ACC referred to, as a pseudo-pheochromocytoma with extremely limited data in the literature.

Published by Oxford University Press and JSCR Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. © The Author 2014.

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