Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Phaeochromocytoma: report of three cases


The diagnosis and investigation of phaeochromocytoma was reviewed in three patients presenting to the paediatric renal centre with malignant hypertension. The initial diagnosis was made using urinary 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymandelic acid (VMA) and plasma adrenaline and non-adrenaline estimations. Our experience of the localization of phaeochromocytoma with ultrasound,131I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) and venous sampling was discussed and we have reappraised our approach to the localization of these tumours.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Gill DG, Mendes da Costa B, Cameron JS, Joseph MC, Ogg CS, Chantler C (1976) Analysis of 100 children with severe and persistent hypertension. Arch Dis Child 51: 951–956

  2. 2.

    Kaufman BH, Telander RL, van Heerden JA, Zimmerman D, Sheps SG, Dawson B (1983) Pheochromocytoma in the pediatric age group: current status. J Pediatr Surg 18: 879–884

  3. 3.

    Dalton RN (1984) Plasma catecholamines: experience with a single-isotope radioenzymatic assay. Ann Clin Biochem 21: 239–245

  4. 4.

    Allison DJ, Brown MJ, Jones DH, Timmis JB (1983) Role of venous sampling in locating a phaeochromocytoma. Br Med J 286: 1122–1124

  5. 5.

    Thompson NW, Allo MD, Shaprio B, Sisson JC, Beierwaltes W (1984) Extra-adrenal and metastatic phaeochromocytoma: the role of131I meta-iodobenzylguanidine (131I-MIBG) in localization and management. World J Surg 8: 605–611

  6. 6.

    Niehaus CE, Ersser RS, Atherden SM (1979) Routine laboratory investigation of urinary catecholamine metabolites in sick children. Ann Clin Biochem 16: 38–43

  7. 7.

    Plouin PF, Duclos JM, Menard J, Comoy E, Bohuon C, Alexandre JM (1981) Biochemical tests for diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma: urinary versus plasma determinations. Br Med J 282: 853–854

  8. 8.

    Brown MJ, Lewis PJ, Dollery CT (1980) Diagnosis of small phaeochromocytomas. Lancet I: 1185–1186

  9. 9.

    Brown MJ, Allison DJ, Jenner DA, Lewis PJ, Dollery CT (1981) Increased sensitivity and accuracy of phaeochromocytoma diagnosis achieved by use of plasma-adrenaline estimations and a pentolinium-suppression test. Lancet I: 174–177

  10. 10.

    Vary J, Lebel M, Grose HJ, Dionne L (1984) Asynchronous pheochromocytoma in childhood. Can J Surg 27: 262–264

  11. 11.

    Bowerman RA, Silver TM, Jaffe, MH, Stuck KT, Hinerman DL (1981) Sonography of adrenal pheochromocytomas. Am J Roentgenol 137: 1227–1231

  12. 12.

    Bravo EL, Gifford RW, Jr (1984) Current concepts in pheochromocytoma: diagnosis, localization and management. N Engl J Med 311: 1298–1303

  13. 13.

    Chatal JF, Charbonnel B (1985) Comparison of iodobenzylguanidine imaging with computed tomography in locating phaeochromocytoma. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 61: 769–772

  14. 14.

    Di Martino-Nardi J, New MI (1986) Low renin hypertension of childhood. Pediatr Nephrol 1: 99–108

  15. 15.

    Grossman E, Bursztyn M, Rosenthal T (1985) Letter to the editor. N Engl J Med 312: 722

  16. 16.

    Struthers AD, Reid JL, Whitesmith R, Rodger JC (1983) The effects of cardioselective and non-selective β-adrenoceptor blockade on the hypokalaemic and cardiovascular responses to adrenomedullary hormone in man. Clin Sci 65: 143–147

  17. 17.

    Shapiro B, Sisson JC, Loyd R, Nakajo M, Satterlee W, Beierwaltes WH (1984) Malignant phaeochromocytoma: clinical, biochemical and scintigraphic characterization. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 20: 189–203

  18. 18.

    Lewi HJE, Reid R, Mucci B, Davidson JK, Kyle KF, Macpherson SG, Semple P, Kaye S (1985) Malignant phaeochromocytoma. Br J Urol 57: 394–398

  19. 19.

    Kalff V, Shapiro B, Lloyd R, Sisson JC, Holland K, Nakajo M, Beierwaltes WH (1982) The spectrum of pheochromocytoma in hypertensive patients with neurofibromatosis. Arch Intern Med 142: 2092–2098

  20. 20.

    Glowniak JV, Shapiro B, Sisson JC, Thompson NW, Coran AG, Lloyd R, Kelsch RC, Beierwaltes WH (1985) Familial extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma. A new syndrome. Arch Intern Med 145: 257–261

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Deborah Lewis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lewis, D., Dalton, N. & Rigden, S. Phaeochromocytoma: report of three cases. Pediatr Nephrol 1, 46–49 (1987).

Download citation

Key words

  • Phaeochromocytoma
  • Malignant hypertension
  • Catecholamines