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August 1977

Avascular Necrosis of Pheochromocytoma Followed by Spontaneous Remission

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Selden), Pathology (Dr Teja), and Internal Medicine (Drs Atuk, Mondzelewski, and Ms Turner), University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va.

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(8):1073-1075. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630200075020

Following an acute spontaneous hypertensive crisis and shock a patient with pheochromocytoma was found to have an exceedingly high catecholamine excretion rate. After this episode, the patient remained normotensive and urinary excretion of catecholamines returned to normal. During surgery, a large pheochromocytoma was found and removed that showed avascular necrosis.

In pheochromocytoma, a sudden and exceedingly high rate of catecholamine release may cause intense vasoconstriction both generally and within the tumor itself. In this patient, avascular tumor necrosis led to a spontaneous remission of clinical symptoms.

(Arch Intern Med 137:1073-1075, 1977)