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01.08.2011 | Pictorial Review | Ausgabe 4/2011 Open Access

Insights into Imaging 4/2011

Clinicoradiological manifestations of paraganglioma syndromes associated with succinyl dehydrogenase enzyme mutation

Insights into Imaging > Ausgabe 4/2011
Brendan Barber, Mark Ingram, Sameer Khan, Gul Bano, Shirley Hodgson, Ioannis Vlahos



Paragangliomas are rare tumours derived from the autonomic nervous system that have increasingly been recognised to have a genetic predisposition. Mutations of the enzyme succinyl dehydrogenase (SDH) have proven to result in paraganglioma formation. There are four subunits (A through D) that form the enzyme complex and are associated with different genophenotypic expressions of disease. SDHB and SDHD mutations are more common, whereas SDHA and SDHC mutations are rare. Patients with SDHB mutations are prone to extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas, malignant disease and extra-paraganglial neoplasia, whereas SDHD mutations have a greater propensity for multiple, benign head and neck paragangliomas.


Diagnosis of a sporadic paraganglioma or pheochromocytoma should lead to a full genetic workup of the patient and family if SDH mutations are found.


Further annual screening will be required depending on the mutation, which can have a significant impact on radiologists and the resources of the radiology department.


We present our imaging experience with a series of patients with proven SDH mutations resulting in paragangliomas with a review of the literature.
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