The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, Patient Education Site

Paraganglioma (adrenaline-producing tumor outside the adrenal gland)

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Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of paragangliomas can be similar to that of pheochromocytomas. (See Pheochromocytoma → Signs and Symptoms) These tumors can be discovered incidentally during a scan (i.e., CAT scan or MRI) done for other reasons. When symptoms are present, they are usually due to the increased secretion of noradrenaline or norepinephrine by the tumor, which may cause high blood pressure that can be severe and spells consisting of headaches, rapid heartbeat, pounding in the chest, anxiety, and sweaty or clammy skin. Patients with paragangliomas in the bladder may have symptoms of hypertension and spells with urination or intercourse and about 50% will cause blood in the urine (hematuria).

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