The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, Patient Education Site

Paraganglioma (adrenaline-producing tumor outside the adrenal gland)

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What if I am pregnant?

Having a paragangliomaParaganglioma - a disease where too much adrenaline is being made by a tumor outside the adrenal glands while being pregnant is rare. Making the diagnosis can be hard, since adrenalineAdrenaline - the hormone that helps control the "fight or flight" response and puts the body on "high alert" (also known as epinephrine) and blood pressure can be elevated in pregnancy anyway. Once a diagnosis is made, MRI is the imaging test of choice because it avoids radiation to the developing baby. When deciding on how to treat a pregnant woman with paraganglioma, in general doing what is best for the mother is best for the baby. At less than 24 weeks of pregnancy, surgery (laparoscopic or open) is performed after alpha blockade. After 24 weeks, pharmacologic blockade is started. Most physicians advise delivering the baby via C-section and either removing the paraganglioma at the same time or 4 to 6 weeks later. Obstetricians who specialize in high-risk pregnancies are a critical part of the management team.

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