Physiology SGD 1 [ Pheochromocytoma ] • Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor of adrenal gland tissue. It results in the release of too much epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that control heart rate, metabolism, and blood pressure. • Causes - Pheochromocytoma may occur as a single tumor or as more than one growth. It usually develops in the center (medulla) of one or both adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are two triangle-shaped glands. One gland is located on top of each kidney. In rare cases, a pheochromocytoma occurs outside the adrenal gland. When it does, it is usually somewhere else in the abdomen. - Very few pheochromocytomas are cancerous. - The tumors may occur at any age, but they are most common from early to mid-adulthood. - In few instances, the condition may also be seen among family members (hereditary). • Symptoms - Most people with this tumor have attacks of a set of symptoms, which happen when the tumor releases hormones. The attacks usually last from a few minutes to hours.
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- Fall '17