Plasma free metanephrines are superior to urine and plasma catecholamines and urine catecholamine metabolites for the investigation of phaeochromocytoma.
ABSTRACT To compare the relative diagnostic efficacy of several different tests used to establish a diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma, in patients with a proven diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma, and in hospital patients with significant disease of other types.
We prospectively compared biochemical markers of catecholamine output and metabolism in plasma and urine in 22 patients with histologically proven phaeochromocytoma, 15 intensive care unit (ICU) patients, 30 patients on chronic haemodialysis and both hypertensive (n = 10) and normotensive (n = 16) controls.
Receiver operating characteristic curves were plotted. At the point of maximum efficiency, plasma free metanephrines showed 100% sensitivity and 97.6% specificity, compared with plasma catecholamines (78.6% and 70.7%), urine catecholamines (78.6% and 87.8%), urine metanephrines (85.7% and 95.1%), and urine hydroxymethoxymandelic acid (HMMA or VMA) (93.0% and 75.8%). All patients with phaeochromocytoma had plasma free metanephrine concentrations at least 27% above the upper limit of the reference range. Only three other patients (two on haemodialysis and one in ICU) had PFM concentrations more than 50% above the upper limit of the reference range.
In patients with phaeochromocytoma, plasma free metanephrines displayed superior diagnostic sensitivity and specificity compared with other biochemical markers of catecholamine output and metabolism.
Rivista Italiana della Medicina di Laboratorio 12/2014; 10(4):193-203. DOI:10.1007/s13631-014-0062-2
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ABSTRACT: Pheochromocytoma classically displays a variety of rather benign symptoms, such as headache, palpitations, and sweating, although severe cardiac manifestations have been described. We report a case of pheochromocytoma-induced inverted takotsubo-like cardiomyopathy leading to shock and cardiac arrest successfully treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a bridge to pharmacological therapy and curative adrenalectomy. A previously healthy 46-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain, dyspnea, nausea, and vomiting. Clinical evaluation revealed cardiorespiratory failure with hypoxia and severe metabolic acidosis. Computed tomography (CT) scan showed pulmonary edema and a left adrenal mass. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) displayed severe left ventricular dysfunction with inverted takotsubo contractile pattern. Despite mechanical ventilation and inotropic and vasopressor support, asystolic cardiac arrest ensued. The patient was resuscitated using manual chest compressions followed by venoarterial ECMO. Repeated TTEs demonstrated resolution of the cardiomyopathy within a few days. Laboratory results indicated transient renal and hepatic dysfunction, and CT scan of the brain displayed occipital infarctions. Biochemical testing and radionuclide scintigraphy confirmed a pheochromocytoma. Pharmacological adrenergic blockade was instituted prior to delayed adrenalectomy after which the diagnosis was histopathologically verified. The patient recovered after rehabilitation. We conclude that pheochromocytoma should be considered in patients presenting with unexplained cardiovascular compromise, especially if they display (inverted) takotsubo contractile pattern. Timely, adequate management might involve ECMO as a bridge to pharmacological therapy and curative surgery.Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 10/2014; DOI:10.1177/0885066614552992
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ABSTRACT: Background Symptomatic paroxysmal hypertension without significantly elevated catecholamine concentrations and with no evidence of an underlying adrenal tumor is known as pseudopheochromocytoma.Methods We describe the case of a female patient with paroxysmal hypertensive crises accompanied by headache, vertigo, tachycardia, nausea and altered mental status. Previously, she was treated for a longer period with alprazolam due to panic disorder. Causes of secondary hypertension were excluded. Neurological triggers (intracranial tumor, cerebral vascular lesions, hemorrhage, and epilepsy) could not be detected.ResultsSetting of the diagnosis of pseudopheochromocytoma treatment was initiated with alpha- and beta-blockers resulting in reduced frequency of symptoms. Alprazolam was restarted at a daily dose of 1 mg. The patient¿s clinical condition improved rapidly and the dosage of alpha- and beta-blockers could be decreased.Conclusions We conclude that the withdrawal of an anxiolytic therapeutic regimen may generate sympathetic overdrive resulting in life-threatening paroxysmal malignant hypertension and secondary encephalopathy. We emphasize that pseudopheochromocytoma can be diagnosed only after exclusion of the secondary causes of hypertension. We highlight the importance of a psychopharmacological approach to this clinical entity.European journal of medical research 10/2014; 19(1):53. DOI:10.1186/s40001-014-0053-9 · 1.40 Impact Factor