Korean J Intern Med.  2020 Mar;35(2):351-359. 10.3904/kjim.2018.231.

Clinical profiles of patients with surgically resected pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma

  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University-Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, Korea
  • 2Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Regional Cardiocerebrovascular Center, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
  • 3Department of Surgery, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea


Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) are catecholamine-producing tumors that can cause blood pressure (BP) elevation and cardiovascular complications. Clinical presentation of these tumors may be changed through widespread use of imaging studies, which enables detection of PPGLs before onset of symptoms. We investigated clinical profiles of patients with surgically resected PPGLs.
From 2005 to 2017, 111 consecutive patients with surgically resected PPGLs in two tertiary hospitals in Korea were studied.
Mean age was 52 ± 16 years, 57 patients (51.4%) were male and 54 (48.6%) were hypertensive. Twenty-nine PPGLs (26.1%) were extra-adrenal paragangliomas. Sixteen (14.4%) and seven patients (6.3%) (Group 1, n = 23) were diagnosed during work-up of hypertension and transient cardiomyopathy respectively, and the remainder (Group 2, n = 88) were incidentalomas detected during routine abdominal imaging. Patients in the Group 1 were younger and more frequently symptomatic, and had higher BPs, heart rates and levels of urinary catecholamines than those in the Group 2. Paragangliomas were less frequent and secretion of epinephrine and metanephrine was more predominant in the Group 1 than in Group 2. After the surgical resections, 18.2% of patients still needed antihypertensive medications.
Out of 111 patients with surgically resected PPGLs, 88 (79.3%) were diagnosed as incidentalomas. Seven patients presented with transient cardiomyopathy and 16 with hypertension. Tumor location and secretion of catecholamine may vary depending on the presence of symptoms.


Pheochromocytoma; Paraganglioma; Catecholamines; Hypertension; Cardiomyopathies
Full Text Links
  • KJIM
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr