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November 1960


Author Affiliations

Bremerton, Wash.

Arch Surg. 1960;81(5):679-682. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300050001001

Eight hundred people die annually in the United States from pheochromocytoma. The fact that all could be saved is the stimulus for discussing this entity. Once a rarity and diagnosed only at the autopsy table, this easily forgotten lesion is being recognized with increasing frequency and removed with safety.

The following case report illustrates many of the problems encountered with pheochromocytoma.

A 16-year-old white school girl was admitted to the hospital with complaints of excessive sweating, fatigue, headaches, and some shortness of breath, of approximately 4 months' duration. Marked hypertension was noted prior to hospitalization.

On examination she appeared to be in excellent health, except for severe hyperhidrosis. Blood pressure was constantly elevated from 140/110 to 230/160. Temperature was usually about 38 C.

The ocular fundi showed the findings of hypertensive vascular disease. The heart was not enlarged but was forceful. Examination of the abdomen was negative, either for mass

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