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J Indian Med Assoc. 2013 Apr;111(4):266-7.

Phaeochromocytoma in pregnancy: safe vaginal delivery, is it possible?

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, VMMC and Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi.
Surgery, LNJP Hospital, New Delhi.


Pheochromocytoma in pregnancy is rare (1 in 50,000 full term pregnancies). Recognition of the condition is central to improving outcome (maternal and foetal mortality is reduced from 58% and 56%, respectively to 2% and 11-15%, respectively). An antenatal patient in third trimester diagnosed as pheochromocytoma has been described. Diagnosis of pheochromocytoma was confirmed by urinary VMA levels and demonstration of right adrenal mass on ultrasound. A multidisciplinary approach was used and the patient received antihypertensives for 10 days. Vaginal delivery was conducted under epidural analgesia and the patient was kept under close surveillance. She delivered a healthy baby girl weighing 2.5 kg. The intrapartum and the postpartum period were uneventful. Adrenalectomy was done at 6 weeks postpartum. Using multidisciplinary approach and individualised management decreases both maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality. Selected multigravidae cases and those with previous history of short uncomplicated labour, may be considered for vaginal delivery under epidural analgesia and with back up facilities available to manage hypertensive crisis.

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