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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb

S D Med



Recurrent Catecholamine-Induced Cardiomyopathy and Hypertensive Emergencies: A presentation of Pheochromocytoma and Related Concerns.


Sethi P, Chang G V, Gowda S N, Elnair R, Fenner R, Lamfers R
S D Med. 2020 Feb; 73(2):78-80.
PMID: 32135056.


Catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy (CIC) and pheochromocytoma are both rare entities, and their exact incidence and prevalence are unknown. Pheochromocytoma has been implicated as one of the causes of CIC or Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) by means of case reports and retrospective reviews. However, the evaluation of any patient with TTS and pheochromocytoma is often faced with multiple challenges due to its rarity and atypical presentations, which subsequently leads to delay in diagnosis. Here, we present a case of a 51-year old female who had three distinct episodes of TTS and now presented in a hypertensive emergency with angina, palpitations, headache, nausea, and vomiting. She was treated for non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) but coronary angiogram revealed patent coronary arteries. Due to the paroxysmal nature of her hypertensive emergencies and variable blood pressure response, pheochromocytoma was suspected. On further evaluation, she was found to have elevated metanephrines and a 6.3 cm left adrenal mass on CT scan. This case emphasizes the importance of considering or identifying pheochromocytoma as an underlying primary etiology for recurrent episodes of TTS and related concerns such as choice of anti-hypertensive agents.