Authors: Maji.S, Saha. ML, Kanwar KS, Das S, Bhagat P, Bhar P
Pheochromocytoma is an extremely uncommon tumor of childhood and there are several features that distinguish its presentation between adults and children. The incidence of pheochromocytoma in childhood is 10% of the adult incidence, occurring in approximately 1 in 500,000 children compared with 1 in 50,000 adults. Around 10% of childhood tumors are familial which is 4times the frequency in adults. Whereas only 7% of pheochromocytomas are bilateral in adults, the reported incidence of the same in children range from 24 % to as high as &70%.These tumors are known for their great diversity in clinical presentation. Greater than 50% of children present with headaches, fever, palpitation, thirst, polyuria, sweating, nausea and weight loss. However the commonest mode of presentation is sustained hypertension. Pheochromocytoma accounts for 0.5% of children with hypertension and must be considered once other causes have been eliminated. We here in report a unique case of a 13 year old girl who initially presented with bilateral hypertensive retinopathy and later found to have a pheochromocytoma on subsequent workup. Hypertensive retinopathy secondary to pheochromocytoma is itself a rare entity whose exact incidence in children is still unknown. This case highlights the importance of routine history, physical examination and measurement of bp. Prompt surgery can reverse the effect of hypertension and lead to good outcome as was evident in our case.
Keywords: Pheochromocytoma, Hypertensive retinopathy, Metanephrines, Normetanephrines, Zellballen