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Cardiothoracic Surgery


Pheochromocytoma is a rare benign tumor of the adrenal gland. A select few cases may be malignant, and metastatic cases are exceedingly rare. It often presents with symptoms of catecholamine excess, such as sweating, palpitations, headaches, and characteristic paroxysmal hypertension. Due to its diffuse symptoms, it is difficult to diagnose and is often diagnosed late. We describe the unique case of a 44-year-old female patient who presented with uncontrolled hypertension and vomiting, accompanied by lower back pain. She was diagnosed with malignant pheochromocytoma with multiple metastases to the lungs, vertebrae, scapulae, and skull. Because of the advanced state of her disease, the patient was started on treatment with the chemotherapeutic combination of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dacarbazine. However, she had a complicated hospital course and died because of aspiration pneumonia and sepsis.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License