The response to piperoxan hydrochloride (benzodioxan) was first described as a diagnostic test for patients with sustained hypertension associated with pheochromocytoma in The Journal in 1947.1 Since that time, the test has been generally accepted. The rational use of this drug is based on its specificity for blocking circulating epinephrine, arterenol (norepinephrine) or related compounds. Patients with hypertension of other than the above origins have shown either no alteration or an elevation of the blood pressure when piperoxan hydrochloride has been given intravenously.2 There have been three cases reported of patients who demonstrated a normal response to the piperoxan hydrochloride test and were later shown to have pheochromocytomas.2d
I have been able to find only one case of an unautopsied patient who was reported by Taliaferro to have false positive tests.3 The diagnosis of renal hypertension in this case, however, has been questioned.2d
Place VA. PIPEROXAN HYDROCHLORIDE (BENZODIOXAN) TEST: REPORT OF A FALSE POSITIVE REACTION. JAMA. 1951;146(13):1227–1229. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.63670130007012c
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