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September 1975

Glucagon-Blood Catecholamine Test: Use in Isolated and Familial Pheochromocytoma

Author Affiliations

From the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(9):1227-1231. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330090099010

In 149 cases, blood pressure response to glucagon test did not exceed 20/10 mm Hg more than the response in the cold pressor test control and was considered negative. Plasma catecholamine level increases may be seen in 95% of patients without pheochromocytomas. Among six patients with pheochromocytomas, urinary metanephrine levels were of diagnostic importance in two with isolated pheochromocytoma and in one with the multiple endocrine neoplasia of type 2 (MEN-type 2). Urinary metanephrine determinations yielded falsenegative results in three patients with MEN-type 2, while vanilmandelic acid level was normal in one and nephrotomograms were positive in two of these three. These results suggest that the early diagnosis of pheochromocytoma in patients with MEN-type 2 may be difficult and may require multiple biochemical and roentgenographic investigations.

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