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January 1958

Bilateral Pheochromocytoma

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia; Pittsburgh
From the Departments of Surgery and Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the Veterans' Administration Hospital, Pittsburgh.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;76(1):62-66. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280190064012

It is of interest that the first reported case of pheochromocytoma, described by Fränkel1 in 1886, had this tumor in both adrenal glands. Sixty years elapsed before the removal of bilateral adrenal chromaffin tumors was first reported, by Calkins and Howard2 in 1947, and Colston3 in 1948. The successful removal of bilateral pheochromocytomas in a single operation has, to our knowledge, been reported only by Roth and associates,4 who in 1953 described three members of one family with bilateral tumors successfully treated. The following report describes a patient with bilateral pheochromocytomas which were removed in a one-stage operation. This case is of particular interest not only because of the unexpected findings which necessitated a decision during the operation to remove both adrenal glands in their entirety but also for the enormous quantities of vasopressor agents that were required to correct the profound shock that ensued.


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