Journal of medical case reports 2018 02 0912(1) 37 doi 10.1186/s13256-017-1549-z
Early diagnosis of pheochromocytoma and its proper management can lessen its mortality and morbidity. This case report describes a 24-year-old pregnant woman with an unusual presentation of pheochromocytoma.
An Iranian 24-year-old primigravid woman from Kordistan province was referred to our center with left flank pain at 37 weeks of gestation. She had a history of gestational diabetes mellitus since the 12th week of gestation which was managed by insulin administration. She also had a history of pulsatile bi-temporal headache for 2 years prior to her referral to us. She underwent complete abdominal and pelvic ultrasound imaging for her flank pain. This examination revealed a heterogeneous mass of 119 × 87 × 79 mm above her left kidney, highly suspicious of being an adrenal-originating tumor. Subsequently, we consulted an endocrinologist. She underwent abdominopelvic magnetic resonance imaging and her 24-hour urine metanephrine, normetanephrine, and vanillylmandelic acid were assessed. Finally, the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma was confirmed. She underwent a cesarean section and adrenal mass excision at the 40th week of gestation. This timely diagnosis resulted in her proper management and good maternal and neonatal treatment outcomes.
Our patient had pheochromocytoma during pregnancy. She had no complaints about hypertension before or during pregnancy until giving birth to her child; her only symptoms were a vague left flank pain, gestational diabetes, and headaches for the past 2 years. The unusual symptom of flank pain led to timely diagnosis and a good treatment outcome.