Pheochromocytoma is a tumor originating from chromaffin tissue, most frequently from the medulla of the adrenal gland. It secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine in variable amounts. The tumor is usually benign and occasionally malignant.1 The majority of the tumors are unilateral without predilection for either side. Some are bilateral7 and some extra-adrenal. Pheochromocytoma in childhood is rare but should be considered if renal disease can be excluded as the cause of hypertension.9,15,19 The hypertension, which can be either sustained13 or paroxysmal, is due to circulating norepinephrine.
In a recent review of the literature16 Smid and Du Shane (1955) cite a total of 32 cases of pheochromocytoma in children of 14 years and under reported since 1910 of whom 9 were girls and 22 were boys. The sex is not stated in one case in which a medullary tumor was found at autopsy. The youngest child was
SLOCOMBE G. Pheochromocytoma in a Boy Aged Ten Years. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(5):530-535. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040532006