Norepinephrine Type Pheochromocytoma With Concomitant Aortic Aneurysms: A Distinctive Association

Ayman R. Fath, Anthony H. Kashou, Bashaer Gheyath, Hisham E. Kashou


Pheochromocytoma is a rare catecholamine secreting tumor. It has two types based on plasma catecholamines levels: 1) norepinephrine type and 2) mixed epinephrine-norepinephrine type. Few reports in the literature have documented the coexistence of pheochromocytoma with abdominal aortic aneurysm and proposed an association between them. In this report, we support these reports and present a case of norepinephrine type pheochromocytoma with concomitant aortic aneurysms. These aneurysms were found in the abdominal aorta, ascending, and descending thoracic aorta. That is unlike previous reports that had the aneurysms confined to the abdominal aorta. Uniquely, we suggest that this type of pheochromocytoma (the norepinephrine type) is associated with a more aggressive and extensive damage to the aortic walls. We also support that the etiology may be associated with the persistent elevation of catecholamines levels secreted from the tumor. Consequently, the aortic walls are damaged and become weak, predisposing them to aneurysm formation.

J Med Cases. 2017;8(12):396-399


Pheochromocytoma; Aortic aneurysm; Abdominal aortic aneurysm

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