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Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2006 Dec;35(4):699-724, viii.

Emergencies caused by pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, or ganglioneuroma.

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Section on Medical Neuroendocrinology, Reproductive Biology and Medicine Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20892-1109, USA.


Pheochromocytoma may lead to important emergency situations, ranging from cardiovascular emergencies to acute abdomen and multiorgan failure. It is vital to think about this disease in any emergency situation when conventional therapy fails to achieve control or symptoms occur that do not fit the initial diagnosis. The importance of keeping this diagnosis in minds is underscored by the fact that, in 50% of pheochromocytoma patients, the diagnosis is initially overlooked. Two other tumors of the sympathetic nervous system, neuroblastoma and ganglioneuroma, are less commonly associated with emergency conditions. If they occur, they are often linked to catecholamine excess, paraneoplastic phenomena, or local tumor mass effect.

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