August 15, 1966

Pheochromocytoma of the Urinary Bladder

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.

JAMA. 1966;197(7):588-590. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110070112034

TWELVE previous cases of pheochromocytoma of the urinary bladder have been reported in English medical literature to our knowledge.1-10 In most instances it has been mistaken for carcinoma of the bladder and a correct preoperative diagnosis has been unusual. The mortality of surgical procedures on undiagnosed pheochromocytomas in any location may reach 45%. With proper preparation and control during surgery, the mortality may be reduced to as low as 13%.11

Most pheochromocytomas of the urinary bladder present many of the signs and symptoms of more common bladder tumors (Table 1). A history of headaches, especially when associated with voiding, and either sustained or intermittent hypertension are clues which must be thoroughly and completely evaluated before the possibility of pheochromocytoma can be excluded.

The present case demonstrates that the clinical characteristics assume much greater importance when the lesion is located in the bladder than when the tumor is