Electrical Remodeling of Ventricular Repolarization Abnormality after Treatment in Pheochromocytoma: U Wave Finding in a Retrospective Analysis

Giuseppe Di Stolfo, Sandra Mastroianno, Angela Maggio, Giovanni De Luca, Domenico R. Potenza, Mauro Pellegrino Salvatori, Aldo Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. Pheochromocytoma is a rare neuroendocrine tumor, clinically characterized by high blood pressure, palpitations, and headache. It is often associated with abnormalities of the ventricular repolarization phase; the dispersion of ventricular repolarization is the basis for ventricular arrhythmias (torsion de point, ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation). Objectives. Analysis of abnormal ventricular repolarization focused on the presence and amount of U wave in patients affected by pheochromocytoma and its modification after surgery. Materials and Methods. We reviewed pathology records of 722 patients admitted for adrenal nodule or suspected chromaffin-cell tumor and identified 39 patients affected by pheochromocytoma. Metanephrine, normetanephrine, and 3-methoxytyramine have been assessed by determining concentrations in 24-hour urine collection. Standard 12-lead electrocardiogram records have been reviewed with analysis of heart rate, P wave, PR interval, QRS duration, QTc, and U wave. Then we selected and compared 22 patients of 39 affected by pheochromocytoma, with both clinical and electrocardiographic data before and after surgery. Results. In our cohort of 39 patients affected by pheochromocytoma, we found U wave in ECG, before treatment, in 82.8 percent of patients, while only 37.0 percent after treatment (p<0.001) and we observed a statistically significant correlation between this wave and the urinary metanephrine. After surgery, in the selected 22 patients, we observed a clear significant reduction in systemic blood pressure, fasting glucose, metanephrine, normetanephrine, and 3-methoxytyramine. We found a significant reduction of U wave presence and leads involved in these patients after surgery (90.9% versus 9%). We observed a linear correlation between the amount of U waves in 12-lead electrocardiogram and metanephrine (r 2 =0.333, p=0.015), 3-methoxytyramine levels (r 2 =0.458, p=0.006), and tumor size (r 2 =0.429, p=0.003). Conclusions. In our retrospective analysis, patients affected by pheochromocytoma presented U wave in electrocardiogram. The presence and amount of U wave were associated with the metanephrine levels and the tumor size with significant reduction after surgical removal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2605323
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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