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Article
November 28, 1959

PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA IN PREGNANCY: REPORT OF A FATAL REACTION TO PHENTOLAMINE (REGITINE) METHANESULFONATE

Author Affiliations

Lansing, Mich.

JAMA. 1959;171(13):1806-1809. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010310038010
Abstract

Pheochromocytoma occurring simultaneously with pregnancy is not common. If suspected, it deserves every diagnostic effort because the death rate in patients with the combination is 50%. Hypertension and other symptoms caused by the tumor may be mistakenly ascribed to toxemia of pregnancy. The early prenatal course of a 21-year-old woman was normal except for occasional headaches in the fifth month. In the sixth she complained of some dizziness. Albuminuria and blood pressure levels of 130/80 to 160/100 mm. Hg were not controlled by the usual management of preeclampsia. Phentolamine methanesulfonate was given to test the suspected presence of a pheochromocytoma. Immediately after it was administered, the patient developed profound vasomotor shock and the baby and mother died. A pheochromocytoma was found in the left adrenal gland at autopsy.

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