The Foundation Dedicated to Discovering a Cure for Neuroendocrine Cancer

Caring for Carcinoid Foundation

Diagnosis

Pheochromocytoma is a tricky disease to diagnose. Diagnostic techniques for pheochromocytoma include:

  • Biochemical tests for hormones, including dopamine, metanephrines, and normetanephrines.  Interpretation of the test results requires considerable experience, and both false negative and false positive results are common.
  • Standard imaging with CT/MRI may help localize the tumor
  • Imaging with MIBG or PET may also help identify the primary tumor and metastases.
  • Biopsy of a pheochromocytoma can be dangerous, since this can precipitate hormonal symptoms. A decision to biopsy should only be made with the input of an experienced medical team.

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