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HOME > J Yeungnam Med Sci > Volume 34(2); 2017 > Article
Case Report Huge pheochromocytoma presented with paraaortic lymph node and spine metastases
Yeon Won Park, Han Ju Moon, Jung Suk Han, Ji Min Han, Jong Wook Park, Yun Hyi Ku
Journal of Yeungnam Medical Science 2017;34(2):247-253
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12701/yujm.2017.34.2.247
Published online: December 31, 2017
1Department of Internal Medicine, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul, Korea. kyh@kirams.re.kr
2Department of Urology, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul, Korea.
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Approximately 10–15% of pheochromocytomas are malignant. There are insufficient histologic criteria for the diagnosis of malignant pheochromocytoma. Thus, the term malignant pheochromocytoma is restricted to tumors with local invasion or distant metastases. We experienced a case of malignant pheochromocytoma recurred with spinal metastasis 4 years after the surgery for huge benign pheochromocytoma. A 68-year-old female was admitted for trunk and back pain. The patient had a history of surgery 4 years ago for a 10.0×9.5×7.5 cm sized benign pheochromocytoma at the left adrenal gland. A thoracolumbar magnetic resonance imaging showed a tumor in the 7th thoracic vertebral body and a 24-hour urinary norepinephrine increased, suggesting metastatic recurrence of malignant pheochromocytoma. After metastasectomy in the 7th thoracic vertebral body, urine catecholamine was normalized and pain also disappeared. However, a metastatic lesion was found in the paraaortic area on a follow-up abdominal computed tomography scan and an additional metastasectomy was performed. The pathology confirmed the diagnosis of metastatic pheochromocytoma in the paraaortic lymph nodes. She is supposed to be treated with adjuvant iodine 131-meta-iodobenzylguanidine therapy. In our experience, a close follow-up should be considered in patients who had a huge benign pheochromocytoma due to the possibility of malignant metastases.

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