Home | About us | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current issue | Archives | Submit article | Instructions | Subscribe | Contacts | Advertise | Login 
Search Article 
Advanced search 
  Users Online: 2398 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size  

Table of Contents
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 890-891

Multiple retroperitoneal paragangliomas

Department of Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tunis El Manar, 1007; Department of Endocrinology, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia

Date of Web Publication24-Oct-2016

Correspondence Address:
Ibtissem Oueslati
Boulevard du 9-Avril, Bab Souika, 1006, Tunis
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.192896

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Oueslati I, Khiari K, Abdallah NB. Multiple retroperitoneal paragangliomas. Indian J Endocr Metab 2016;20:890-1

How to cite this URL:
Oueslati I, Khiari K, Abdallah NB. Multiple retroperitoneal paragangliomas. Indian J Endocr Metab [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Jul 25];20:890-1. Available from: https://www.ijem.in/text.asp?2016/20/6/890/192896


Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are rare neuroendocrine tumors arising from the adrenal medulla and extra-adrenal ganglia, respectively.

Retroperitoneal paragangliomas arise from paraganglia collections of specialized neural crest cells symmetrically distributed along the aorta in close association with the sympathetic chain.[1] In recent series, approximately one-third to one-half of paragangliomas are associated with an inherited syndrome.[2]

A 40-year-old male, with a medical history of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia, was referred to our department for paroxysmal hypertension.

At the age of 7 years, he was diagnosed with primitive polycythemia and treated with monthly phlebotomies. There was no family history of neuroendocrine tumor or polycythemia.

Since 6 months, the patient started to experience headaches, palpitations, and sweating. In addition, he presented a weight loss of 7 kg.

On examination, he had a body weight of 66 kg, a body mass index of 20.8 kg/m 2, and a blood pressure of 120/80 mmHg. There was no orthostatic hypotension. The rest of physical examination was normal. Electrocardiogram showed a sinus regular rythm (95/min).

24-h holter monitoring of blood pressure showed paroxysmal hypertension with peaks of 200/110 mmHg. Echocardiography revealed moderate hypertrophy of the left ventricle. Systolic and diastolic functions were preserved.

Laboratory tests demonstrated a high level of urinary normetanephrine (5495 nmol/24 h; reference range <213 nmol/24 h).

Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the abdominopelvic region revealed six retroperitoneal tumors measuring 11, 13, 27, 15, 40, and 37 mm, respectively [Figure 1]. Left and right adrenal glands were normal.
Figure 1: Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging showed multiple retroperitoneal tumors

Click here to view

131-metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigram shows an intense radiotracer uptake by the six tumors.

The diagnosis of multiple retroperitoneal paragangliomas was established. After medical preparation, seven solid, encapsulated tumors were resected. Intra-operatively, four tumors were inter-aortico cave located and three tumors located below the left renal hilum. Histopathologic examination confirmed the diagnosis of multiple paragangliomas.

After surgery, his blood pressure was within normal range without medications and plasma level of noremetanephrine decreased to 153 nmol/24 h.

Paragangliomas are rare with multicentricity being more common in patients with familial history.[3] In fact, family history for paraganglial tumors, multiple tumors, and young age at diagnosis are associated with a high probability of finding a germline mutation.[4]

Our patient presented with a very rare association: Multiple paragangliomas and primitive polycythemia. Recently, a new syndrome of paraganglioma, somatostatinoma, and polycythemia has been discovered.[5]

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Hayes WS, Davidson AJ, Grimley PM, Hartman DS. Extraadrenal retroperitoneal paraganglioma: Clinical, pathologic, and CT findings. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1990;155:1247-50.  Back to cited text no. 1
Fishbein L, Merrill S, Fraker DL, Cohen DL, Nathanson KL. Inherited mutations in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: Why all patients should be offered genetic testing. Ann Surg Oncol 2013;20:1444-50.  Back to cited text no. 2
Rai S, Subas K, Kini J, Bhat N, Rao S. Multiple retroperitoneal paragangliomas. Indian J Surg 2013;75 Suppl 1:125-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Neumann HP, Eng C. The approach to the patient with paraganglioma. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009;94:2677-83.  Back to cited text no. 4
Toyoda H, Hirayama J, Sugimoto Y, Uchida K, Ohishi K, Hirayama M, et al. Polycythemia and paraganglioma with a novel somatic HIF2A mutation in a male. Pediatrics 2014;133:e1787-91.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

   Article Figures
  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded128    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal