Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor of adrenal gland tissue that causes too much adrenaline to be excreted. Most of the time these tumors are not cancerous.
Symptoms may include:
- Anxiety and/or panic attacks
- Blurry vision
- High blood sugar
- Increased heart rate
- Pain in the abdomen
- Pale skin
- Shaking hands
- Unplanned or unexplained weight loss
Tests and Diagnosis
- A complete medical history and physical examination is often the first step in diagnosing pheochromocytoma.
- Tests include blood and urine tests measuring adrenaline, noradrenaline and their breakdown products.
- A CT scan to look for tumors or other abnormal growths and a scan using low-level radioactive tagged substances to see how well the adrenal gland is working.
- The doctor also may suggest genetic testing.
Pheochromocytomas are usually treated by surgically removing the tumor. Most of the time, this improves blood pressure levels.