Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse
Pheochromocytoma, Tumor, Alpha Adrenergic, Adrenal Medulla, Catecholamine
Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
Pheochromocytomas are endocrine tumors that originate from the adrenal medulla. These tumors secrete endogenous catecholamines that elicit significant hemodynamic effects. If left untreated, these tumors can cause chronic, permanent damage to organs and possibly lead to death. The clinical triad of symptoms include headache, heart palpitations and diaphoresis. The generalized symptoms that pheochromocytomas cause combined with their rarity make them a difficult illness to identify. Early management of these tumors is paramount. Symptoms are managed with alpha-adrenergic blockers until surgical intervention can be performed. Surgical intervention is the only curative treatment. It is important to note that there are pertinent anesthesia requirements to consider while caring for these patients. The most important consideration is to always block the alpha-adrenergic receptors before you block the beta adrenergic receptors. Failure to do this will result in extensive vasoconstriction, leading to life-threatening hypertension or heart failure. After removal of the tumor, routine check-ups should be performed to prevent reoccurrence. Keywords: pheochromocytoma, catecholamine, tumor, adrenal medulla, alpha-adrenergic
Corn, Aaron, "The Importance of Understanding Pheochromocytomas" (2020). Nursing Student Class Projects (Formerly MSN). 443.