[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 16, 1976

Angiography of a Clinically Nonfunctioning Pheochromocytoma

Author Affiliations

University of Alabama Medical Center Birmingham

JAMA. 1976;235(7):707. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260330017010

To the Editor.—  The article by Levitt et al (233:268, 1975) presents for the first time angiographic findings in a clinically nonfunctioning pheochromocytoma. The authors' conclusion that asymptomatic vascular adrenal tumors could represent nonfunctioning pheochromocytomas is undisputed. However, the comparison of the vascular pattern in this case with that reported in the literature for functioning pheochromocytomas gives the impression that these two entities can be distinguished angiographically. Careful scrutiny of the literature will disclose that this is not so: Main feeding arteries of functioning pheochromocytomas too, on occasion, pass through the center of the tumor (Fig 5a in Kahn,1 Fig 3b in Porstmann et al,2 Fig 7c and d in Rossi et al3) and the arterial pattern can be nonreticulated, resulting in an inhomogeneous tumor blush.2 These features are also documented in a functioning pheochromocytoma we recently observed (Figure). Furthermore, it should be pointed out that it