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Headache In Pheochromocytoma

M. Watanabe
Published 2011 · Medicine

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Two motives have combined to make me write a paper on headache in patients with pheochromocytoma. First, I would like to contribute to the clinical practices of both endocrinological clinicians who are working with patients with pheochromocytoma and neurologists who are performing headache consultations by elucidating the clinical characteristics of headache in patients with pheochromocytoma. Second, I will discuss the stereotypy of current diagnostic criteria provided by “The international classification of headache disorders,” 2nd edition (ICHDII)(1) by reviewing the literature concerning the mechanism of headache attributed to pheochromocytoma. Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor arising from the chromaffin tissue. Although it is wellknown to produce catecholamine , the tumor is frequently disclosed incidentally by autopsy or adrenal imaging.(2)-(3) The representative clinical features are characterized by the pentad of symptoms known as the “5Hs”, that is headache, hypertension, hyperglycemia, hypermetabolism, and hyperhydrosis. Among these symptoms, which are attributed to the overproduction of catecholamine by the tumor, headache is important for four reasons. First, it is one of the most frequent symptoms.(4)(5)(6)(7) Second, it is frequently the presenting symptom.(8) Third, it may be the only symptom.(9)(10) Fourth, it may be the presenting symptom of a life-threatening disease with a histopathologically confirmed tumor.(11)(7)
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