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July 21, 1975

Angiography of a Clinically Nonfunctioning PheochromocytomaCase Report and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (Drs. Levitt and Stanley), and the Division of Surgical Pathology, Department of Pathology (Dr. Dehner), Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

JAMA. 1975;233(3):268-269. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260030058025

PHEOCHROMOCYTOMAS are catecholamine-producing tumors derived from chromaffin cells. Approximately 90% are found in or adjacent to the adrenal gland. Only 10% are clinically nonfunctioning, ie, tumors that do not produce either paroxysmal or sustained hypertension. Clinically unsuspected pheochromocytomas have been discovered incidentally at postmortem examination and at surgery for unrelated reasons, or for a lesion that was first seen with local signs such as pain or abdominal mass. We recently had the opportunity to study angiographically and histopathologically a clinically nonfunctioning pheochromocytoma.

Report of a Case  A 37-year-old man was admitted to another hospital in September 1973, with a one-year history of dull, right upper quadrant and right flank pain and a 7-kg (15-1b) weight loss. On physical examination, the patient's vital signs were normal, including a blood pressure of 134/82 mm Hg. A soft, nontender mass, 4 cm in diameter, was palpable in the right upper quadrant. Results of