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Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Pheochromocytoma results


 dacubster - Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:37 pm

Hello there,

I am a 24 year old female, diagnosed with asthma, bronchitis, hyperthroidism, unspecified tachycardia. Currently my endocrinologist became concerned about my lack of answers in regards to my reoccurent tachycardic episodes even though my hyperthroidism labs have been within range since the beginning of the year.

Therefore he ran the 24 hour urine sample. Although I do not at this time have the exact figures, he mentioned that the VMA numbers were normal, but the meta and ephipherines were high. He recently had me do the urine test again but they were inconclusive. Also he is awaiting the results of the plasma blood test.

Are false-positives common with pheochromocytomas? Is this something I should look into further if this next test comes back negative/inconclusive? Would it be wise to ask for the CT Scan to look a possible tumor, even if the test is inconclusive?

Thank you.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:42 pm

User avatar There are several causes of elevated epinephrine/metanephrine/VMA in the urine. All these substances are referred to as catecholamines or their metabolites.

Anything that leads to an increased level of catecholamines in the blood will also cause increased levels in the urine. Pheochromocytoma can certainly cause this but pheo's are rare. More commonly, it is due to anxiety or elevated stress.

If there is a persistent elevation and no cause is found a CT scan may be appropriate. Other causes should also be sought.

Best wishes.

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