Pheochromocytoma in a patient with end-stage renal disease

John A. Godfrey, Otis B. Rickman, Amy W. Williams, Geoffrey B. Thompson, William F. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor. To our knowledge only 15 cases have been reported in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We describe a 46-year-old woman with ESRD and a history of paroxysmal and difficult-to-control hypertension. During anesthesia for a surgical procedure, the patient experienced blood pressure lability with systolic blood pressures ranging from 76 to 360 mm Hg. Serum catecholamine concentrations were 2698 pg/mL (reference value, <750 pg/mL) for norepinephrine, 33 pg/mL (<110 pg/mL) for epinephrine, and 55 pg/mL (<30 pg/mL) for dopamine. The concentrations of plasma metanephrines were 6.84 nmol/L (<0.50 nmol/L) for metanephrine and 14.64 nmol/L (<0.90 nmol/L) for normetanephrine. Abdominal computed tomography showed a right-sided, 4-cm mass posterior to the infrahepatic inferior vena cava. Following blood pressure control with α- and β-adrenergic blockade, the mass was removed. Pathologic examination demonstrated the mass was a pheochromocytoma. The maximum postoperative systolic blood pressure was 160 mm Hg. Postoperative plasma normetanephrine concentration was 2.80 nmol/L, and metanephrine was obscured by interfering substances. This case report and literature review emphasizes the difficulty in diagnosing pheochromocytomas in patients with ESRD despite the myriad of available diagnostic tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62118
Pages (from-to)953-957
Number of pages5
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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