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Acta Pathol Jpn. 1990 Sep;40(9):683-6.

Adrenal medullary hyperplasia. Hyperplasia-pheochromocytoma sequence.

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Department of Pathology, Uwajima City Hospital, Japan.


We present a case of unilateral adrenal medullary hyperplasia in a 63-year-old woman with clinical signs and symptoms of pheochromocytoma unassociated with multiple endocrine neoplasia. The surgically removed adrenal gland revealed diffuse medullary hyperplasia with multiple micronodules measuring up to 2 mm. The micronodules were composed of enlarged chromaffin cells with atypia, histologically similar to those of pheochromocytoma, forming small solid alveolar patterns separated by a fibrovascular stroma. Removal of the hyperplastic adrenal gland resulted in disappearance of paroxysmal nocturnal hypertension and palpitation. These results suggest that diffuse and nodular medullary hyperplasia is the precursor of pheochromocytoma.

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