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01.12.2015 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Surgery 1/2015

A case of bilateral pheochromocytoma during pregnancy

BMC Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2015
Kishu Kitayama, Shinichiro Kashiwagi, Ryosuke Amano, Satoru Noda, Go Ohira, Sadaaki Yamazoe, Kenjiro Kimura, Kae Hamamoto, Akihiro Hamuro, Masahiko Ohsawa, Naoyoshi Onoda, Kosei Hirakawa
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

All authors were involved in the preparation of this manuscript. KKit performed the operation, collected the data, and wrote the manuscript. SK, RA, SN, and KHi performed the operation and designed the study. GO, SY, and KKim summarized the data and revised the manuscript. KHa and AH performed the operation and collected the data. NO, KKit, MO, and KHi made substantial contribution to the study design, performed the operation, and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Pheochromocytoma is a disease where catecholamines are secreted. If pheochromocytoma occurs during pregnancy, it can be difficult to diagnose because it is similar to pregnancy-induced hypertension. Furthermore, bilateral pheochromocytoma during pregnancy is even rarer than unilateral pheochromocytoma.

Case presentation

A 32-year-old primigravida, who was 12 weeks’ pregnant, was aware of right abdominal discomfort. Masses in both adrenal glands were observed by abdominal ultrasonography. She was diagnosed with pheochromocytoma. Bilateral adrenalectomy was undertaken at 15 weeks’ gestation and she continued pregnancy. At 39 weeks’ gestation, a healthy male neonate was delivered. She was discharged on the 4th postpartum day.


We present a case of bilateral pheochromocytoma during pregnancy that was diagnosed in the first trimester. Differentiating pheochromocytoma from pregnancy-induced hypertension is important. Early diagnosis and appropriate blood pressure management with medical treatment followed by surgical removal of the tumor results in good maternal and fetal outcomes.
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