Current concepts of pheochromocytoma

Giovanni Conzo, Daniela Pasquali, Vittorio Colantuoni, Luisa Circelli, Ernesto Tartaglia, Claudio Gambardella, Salvatore Napolitano, Claudio Mauriello, Nicola Avenia, Luigi Santini, Antonio Agostino Sinisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pheochromocytoma (PCC), a rare neuroendocrine tumor, shows a prevalence ranging between 0.1% and 0.6% in individuals suffering from hypertension. To date, an increasing number of patients with hereditary forms or subclinical PCCs have been diagnosed. We reviewed the main controversies and the most recent updates, especially inheritance genetics and surgical management. According to the "rule of 10", in 1/10 patients with pheochromocytoma it is malignant, in 1/10 of cases the tumor is bilateral, in 1/10 extra-adrenal and in 1/10 familial. Surgical resection, the only curative treatment, carries a high risk of hypertensive crises due to massive catecholamine release. Alpha 1 blocker therapy, alone or in combination with beta blockers, calcium antagonists, and plasma volume expansion, is the most commonly used preoperative treatment protocol. Minimally invasive adrenalectomy (laparoscopic and retro-peritoneoscopic) allows earlier mobilization and recovery, reducing the risk of pulmonary infections and thromb-oembolic complications, and is associated with lower morbidity and mortality rates than traditional surgery; it is currently considered the gold standard for the treatment of adrenal tumors ≤6cm in diameter and weighing

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-474
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Adrenergic blocking drugs
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy
  • Pheochromocytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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