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A Journal on Endocrine System Diseases

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Minerva Endocrinologica 2006 June;31(2):183-9

language: English

Pheochromocytoma associated with adrenocortical tumor in the same gland Two case reports and literature review

Cotesta D. 1, Petramala L. 1, Serra V. 1, Giustini S. 2, Divona L. 2, Calvieri S. 2, De Toma G. 3, Ciardi A. 4, Corsi A. 4, Massa R. 4, Reale M. G. 4, Letizia C. 1

1 Day Hospital of Internal Medicine and Hypertension Department of Clinical Sciences University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
2 Department of Dermatology University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
3 Department of Surgery “P. Valdoni” University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
4 Department of Experimental Pathology University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy


Pheochromocytomas are catecholamine-producing neuroendocrine tumours arising from chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla or extra-adrenal paraganglionic system that show 2 distinctive features, rarity and clinical variability. Pheochromocytoma occasionally is associated with pathological lesions of the adrenal cortex. We present 2 cases of patients referred to our hospital with a finding of clinical suspected pheochromocytoma. Both of them were hypertensive; the first patient with typical symptoms of pheochromocytoma and the second patient with chest pain and hypertension resistant to pharmacological treatment. The diagnosis of pheochromocytoma was confirmed in both cases with laboratory analysis and the lesion was achieved by employing 3 imaging techniques: computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and scintigraphy with 123I-metaiodobenzilguanidine (MIBG). The patients underwent adrenalectomy and in the same adrenal gland we found a pheochromocytoma associated with a nonfunctioning cortical adenoma. As far as we know few cases with this association are available in the literature.

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