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August 17, 1946


JAMA. 1946;131(16):1260-1265. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870330006002

Pheochromocytoma (chromaffin cell tumor, paraganglioma) is associated usually with the syndrome of paroxysmal hypertension. Recent reports, however, emphasize the protean manifestations of the disease, including the simulation of hyperthyroidism1 and the occurrence of diabetes2 and chronic hypertension.3

Individual cases of pheochromocytoma, because of their relative rarity, have been regarded in the light of medical curiosities. Studied as a group, however, certain features emerge which demonstrate a rather remarkable resemblance to idiopathic hypertension. Indeed, in those cases in which the paroxysmal features have been absent or overshadowed the disease has been diagnosed as essential hypertension until operation, autopsy or prolonged clinical investigation has indicated its true nature.4

The significance of pheochromocytic hypertension lies in the fact that it is a form of human hypertension in which may be studied the effects of removal of the etiologic agent on the blood pressure and on the secondary cardiovascular-renal manifestations.

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