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Unilateral Non-Hereditary Pheochromocytoma in 19-Year-Old African American Female

Anil Kumar Dosaj, Khatija Pinky Ali

(Department of Internal Medicine, Windsor University, School of Medicine, Cayon, Saint Kitts and Nevis)

Med Sci Case Rep 2016; 3:91-96

DOI: 10.12659/MSCR.902143


BACKGROUND: A pheochromocytoma is an adrenergic hormone-releasing tumor, which generally arises from the adrenal medulla. These incredibly rare tumors (1–2 per million) have potentially fatal outcomes unless diagnosed and treated quickly. The catecholamines secreted by these tumors are usually episodic in nature and result in severe hypertension; which risks cerebral vascular accidents as well as cardiomyopathies.
CASE REPORT: A 19-year-old African American college student presented with headaches and hypertension for duration of 12–14 months. Evaluation and considerations of clinical presentation, which were, misdiagnosed at several hospital visits. A 3.7 cm encapsulated mass in the left adrenal gland, consistent with a pheochromocytoma was found. Surgical team performed laparoscopic left adrenalectomy with no complications.
CONCLUSIONS: Patient presenting with classical symptoms of pheochromocytoma that had been misdiagnosed several times during previous hospital visits. Good clinical suspicion and appropriate biochemical analysis confirmed diagnosis.

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