Journal Article
Review
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Subclinical phaeochromocytoma.

Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas are neural crest-derived tumours. Autopsy studies indicate that relatively large numbers of these tumours remain undiagnosed during life. This may reflect non-specific signs and symptoms and low medical alertness in evaluating the clinical picture or it may reflect a silent clinical presentation - the subclinical phaeochromocytoma. The associated clinical picture depends on the capacity of the tumours to release catecholamines and sometimes biologically active peptides. Hypertension is the hallmark of catecholamine release, but the amount, type and pattern of catecholamine secretion is extremely variable. Some tumours have low or intermittent secretory activity, some produce mainly or solely dopamine, while others very rarely do not synthesize or release any catecholamines (non-secretory or non-functional tumours). Such tumours may present with mild or even absent signs and symptoms of catecholamine excess. Low secretory activity may reflect small tumour size or differences in secretory phenotypes associated with the biochemical and genetic background of the tumours. Tumours due to succinate dehydrogenase subunit B mutations are often subclinical, poorly differentiated, contain low amounts of catecholamines, and are usually malignant at diagnosis. Adrenoceptor desensitization can result in a subclinical presentation, even when catecholamine levels are high. Subclinical phaeochromocytomas are often discovered as incidentalomas during radiological procedures or during routine screening for phaeochromocytoma in carriers of mutations in one of the ten currently identified tumour susceptibility genes. Undiagnosed phaeochromocytomas, whether or not subclinical and even if biologically benign, may cause extremely deleterious consequences or even death, following abrupt release of catecholamines.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

Related Resources

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app