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Laparoscopic resection of a large periadrenal nonmalignant pheochromocytoma


This is, to our knowledge, the first case description of an extraadrenal pheochromocytoma located in the periadrenal fat. Pheochromocytoma is a tumor that originates in the chromaffin tissue. Extraadrenal pheochromocytomas have been described commonly in locations such as the organ of Zuckerkandle (29%); the bladder (12%); the sacrum, testis, rectum, and pelvic floor (2%); the upper abdomen in association with celiac, superior mesenteric, and inferior mesenteric ganglia (43%); the thorax (12%); and the neck (2%), most commonly in association with the ninth or tenth cranial nerve ganglion. Our patient was a 40-year-old woman known to have had an adrenal mass for the last 4 years. She was referred for surgery because of an increase in the size of the mass to 11 cm. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy was performed via a posterior flank approach. The pathology report was of periadrenal fat pheochromocytoma, with positive staining for synaptophysin, chromogranin, and vimentin. The patient was discharged on postoperative day 3. The unique feature in this case was the uncommon location of the extraadrenal tumor: the supraadrenal fat. The other unique finding in this case was that the pheochromocytoma was neither symptomatic nor malignant, common features of extraadrenal masses.

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Frezza, E., Ikramuddin, S., Gourash, W. et al. Laparoscopic resection of a large periadrenal nonmalignant pheochromocytoma. Surg Endosc 16, 362–363 (2002).

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