Few disorders of endocrine function are so sudden and dramatic in their presentation as those caused by a pheochromocytoma. This chromaffin cell tumor arises within the adrenal medulla or within the sympathetic nervous system and causes wide fluctuations in blood pressure, tachydysrhythmias, and manifestations of intense anxiety. The patient experiences explosive paroxysms of catecholamine overload. The diagnoses of accelerated hypertension or panic disorder often are prematurely adopted. The condition kills, with deaths primarily attributed to irreversible cardiovascular and end-organ damage caused by profound hypertension. For those with a pheochromocytoma, the disorder caused by the tumor is a terrifying constellation of symptoms. Although pheochromocytoma is rare, it must be considered in the treatment of any patient with sudden, extreme hypertension and accompanying hypermetabolism. A cure is possible, but only with early diagnosis and treatment
Endocrine Disorders| May 01 1992
Pheochromocytoma: A Clinical Review
Rubi Agana-Defensor, RN, BSN, RNC;
From the Clinical Center Department of Nursing, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
Reprint requests to Rubi Agana-Defensor, RN, BSN, RNC, 14520 Banquo Ter., Silver Spring, MD 20906.
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AACN Adv Crit Care (1992) 3 (2): 309–318.
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Rubi Agana-Defensor, Marcella Proch; Pheochromocytoma: A Clinical Review. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 May 1992; 3 (2): 309–318. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/15597768-1992-2004
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