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Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2018 Jul;61(4):520-523. doi: 10.5468/ogs.2018.61.4.520. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

Extra-adrenal paraganglioma masquerading as severe preeclampsia.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Paraganglioma in pregnancy is an extremely rare condition and its diagnosis is often delayed because the clinical symptoms can mimic those of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension. Here, we report the case of a 32-year-old, gravida 2, para 1 woman who presented with severe headache, palpitation, and sweating at 37 weeks' gestation. Although emergent cesarean section was performed on the assumption of severe preeclampsia, blood pressure fluctuated and heart rate remained tachycardiac. We suspected that she might have thromboembolic lesion in the chest or pheochromocytoma. Chest and abdominal computed tomography revealed a 4 cm mass in the left para-aortic space. Serum and urinary catecholamine levels were found to be significantly increased. She underwent laparoscopic mass removal and the pathology confirmed paraganglioma. When typical paroxysmal hypertension is accompanied by headache, palpitation, and sweating during pregnancy, adrenal tumors should be considered.


Hypertension; Paraganglioma; Preeclampsia; Pregnancy

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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