Pheochromocytomas in Adults and Children

What is pheochromocytomas?
Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal glands. The tumor makes hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine. This leads to excessive hormones in the body. These hormones help manage heart rate and blood pressure. Too much of them causes problems in the body. Pheochromocytoma is rare and occurs most often in adults aging from 20 and 50. However, about 10% of cases are in children aging from 6 to 14.

What causes pheochromocytomas in adults and children?
Both genes and environmental factors can cause pheochromocytomas. About a quarter of the cases are part of a hereditary disease such as:

  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease


What are the symptoms of pheochromocytoma?
The most common symptom is high blood pressure, which can be very high. The high blood pressure can cause:
Fast heart rate

The symptoms of pheochromocytoma can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.