Because of the great variety of symptoms and signs occurring in patients with pheochromocytoma, this tumor has been called the “great mimic” among hypertensive disorders (215). It is no wonder then that the differential diagnosis includes a long list of unrelated disease entities (Table 5.1). No tumor or disease process is capable of causing a more diversified constellation of manifestations than pheochromocytoma and its associated pathologic entities. The extraordinary overlap of many symptoms and signs of the conditions listed is indeed fascinating, though often a frustrating challenge to the physician’s diagnostic acumen. It is important to emphasize and reemphasize that in the final analysis the preoperative diagnosis of this tumor must be confirmed by demonstrating significant elevations of catecholamines and/or their metabolites in the urine or plasma.
KeywordsCluster Headache Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Plasma Catecholamine Carcinoid Syndrome Systemic Mastocytosis
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