Composite Pheochromocytoma/Paraganglioma-Ganglioneuroma: A Clinicopathologic Study of Eight Cases with Analysis of Succinate Dehydrogenase

Sounak Gupta, Jun Zhang, Lori A. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Ganglioneuromas represent the most well-differentiated spectrum of neoplasia arising from the sympathetic nervous system, while neuroblastomas represent the most poorly differentiated counterpart, and ganglioneuroblastomas represent intermediate stages of differentiation. Small series of cases have documented the co-occurrence of ganglioneuroma with a pheochromocytoma (Pheo)/paraganglioma (PGL) component. We report the clinicopathologic features of eight such cases, diagnosed between 2003 and 2015 with a mean follow-up of 22 months (1–47), which were evaluated for syndrome associations, SDHB expression, and clinical outcome. Mutations of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex subunits (A, B, C, D, and SDHAF2) have been implicated in predicting metastatic behavior and in identifying possible paraganglioma syndromes. The proliferative index was calculated by manual quantification of Ki-67-positive cells at selected hot-spots using ImageJ (NIH). In our series, composite Pheo/PGL-ganglioneuromas predominantly involved the adrenal gland (Pheo 7, PGL 1). The cases had an equal gender distribution (males 4, females 4), with a mean age at diagnosis of 67 years (range 53 to 86 years), an average size of 5.2 cm (range 2 to 8.2 cm), an average weight of 49.3 g (7.8 to 144.7 g, n = 6), and the majority were functionally active (7 of 8, 88%). The mean Ki67 proliferation rate was 2% (range 0.3 to 3%), and all cases retained SDHB expression (8/8, 100%). No patient (0/8, 0%) developed metastatic disease on follow-up. One patient had a retroperitoneal composite PGL-ganglioneuroma in the setting of neurofibromatosis type 1. No recurrent disease or other associations were identified. In our study, composite Pheo/PGL-ganglioneuromas predominantly affected the adrenal gland in older patients, showed no loss of SDHB, and no disease recurrence was identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Composite
  • Ganglioneuroma
  • Paraganglioma
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • SDH
  • SDHB
  • Succinate dehydrogenase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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