Pathophysiology Associated with Pheochromocytoma

The pathophysiology related with pheochromocytoma is as follow:

  • Pheochromocytoma is a tumor arising from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla and sympathetic ganglia. The former is the inner most part of the adrenal gland and the latter a nerve cell cluster or a group of nerve cell bodies of the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Malignant and benign pheochromocytomas share the same biochemical and histological features. This means that they have the same characteristics both in chemical processes and microscopic structures.
  • The exact mechanism behind the surge of the secretion of catecholamine remains unclear. (Catecholamine is a group of chemicals produced in the medulla of the adrenal gland.) However, Researchers have proved that certain medications like beta blockers and changes in tumor blood flow and pressure may be responsible.
  • Pheochromocytoma leads to excessive secretion of catecholamines and subsequent stimulation of adrenergic receptors.
  • Norepinephrine (predominant) and epinephrine are two common catecholamines. Some tumors may also secrete dopamine, an important organic chemical in the brain and body.
  • Excessive secretion of catecholamines may be either continuous or intermittent.

Keyword: pathophysiology pheochromocytoma

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