Pathology:                    Catecholamine secretingtumours of the adrenal medulla

Aetiology:                    Commonin 3-4th decade

Can be sporadic (unilateral < 10cm)

Familial autosomal dominant: MEN-2, Chr-10, RET

Proto-oncogene mutation: Von Hippel-Lindau andNeurofibromatosis


Symptoms:                   Sweating, flushing, pallor,pyrexia, headache, palpitations


Signs:                              Labile hypertension,postural hypotension, features of cardiac failure, tremor


Investigations:          Bloods:Elevated 24hr catecholamines, calcium (MEN), serum calcitonin

 (medullary thyroid carcinoma)

                                        Examination: Fundoscopy forretinal angiomas (VHL)

Imaging: MRI/CTadrenals, radionuclide imaging


Treatment:                 Medical: Alphablockade followed by beta-blockade for reflex tachycardia. Surgery: Adrenalectomy +/- adjuvant treatment


Complications:          Hypertensive crisis – if beta blockersstarted without adequate alpha blockade, end organ damage from hypertension,operative mortality<2%


Prognosis:                    Hypertensive is cured in ~ 75%with surgery.

5 yr survival ~44% for metastatic disease










Join Shiken For FREE

Gumbo Study Buddy

Explore More Subject Explanations

Try Shiken Premium
for Free

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime.
Get Started
The first 14 days are on us
96% of learners report x2 faster learning
Free hands-on onboarding & support
Cancel Anytime