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Int Surg. 2005 Nov-Dec;90(5):275-8.

Extra-adrenal nonfunctional retroperitoneal paraganglioma: case report and review of the literature.

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First Department of Surgery N. Anestiadi and Laboratory of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery, Medical University N. Testemitsanu, Kishinev, Moldova.


An extra-adrenal paraganglioma is a rare tumor derived from the chromaffin cells of sympathetic ganglia. This report documents a rare case of nonfunctional extra-adrenal paraganglioma in a 20-year-old woman with persistent flank pain. Ultrasonography and computed tomography revealed a solid mass with calcification in center, measuring 7 x 6 x 6 cm, and localized in the left upper para-aortal retroperitoneal region. Absence of typical clinical symptoms made a correct preoperative diagnosis unlikely. Tumor was successfully removed through a midline laparotomy incision, and pathological analysis of the surgical specimen revealed a paraganglioma. After 12 months, the patient is still in a good health, asymptomatic, and without evidence of tumor recurrence. This case emphasizes the necessity to include extra-adrenal paraganglioma in the differential diagnosis and management of retroperitoneal tumors, despite its rarity.

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