Encyclopedia Home / P / Pheochromocytoma


  • Alternative Names

    Chromaffin tumors; Paraganglionoma

    • Abdominal pain
    • Chest pain
    • Irritability
    • Nervousness
    • Pallor
    • Palpitations
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Severe headache
    • Sweating
    • Weight loss

    Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:

    • Hand tremor
    • High blood pressure
    • Sleeping difficulty

    Symptom attacks may occur at unpredictable intervals and usually last 15 to 20 minutes. The attacks may increase in frequency, length, and severity as the tumor grows.

    Signs and tests

    The doctor will perform a physical exam. You may have high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and fever during an attack of symptoms. Your vital signs can be normal at other times.

    Tests include:

    • Abdominal CT scan
    • Adrenal biopsy
    • Catecholamines blood test
    • Glucose test
    • Metanephrine blood test
    • MIBG scintiscan
    • MRI of abdomen
    • Urine catecholamines