Catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy in multiple endocrine neoplasia. A histologic, ultrastructural, and biochemical study

Chest. 1991 Feb;99(2):382-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.99.2.382.


A catecholamine-induced dilated cardiomyopathy is reported in a patient with multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 3. A histologic and ultrastructural study has been undertaken in cardiac biopsy samples, together with determination of myocardial Ca++ and cellular membrane fatty acids. Contraction band necrosis of cardiocytes with supercontraction of sarcomeres progressing to myofibrolysis and increased levels of myocardial Ca++ have been found as morphologic and biochemical abnormalities, respectively. No lipoperoxidation of cellular membranes or an alpha-adrenergic mediated reduction of coronary supply could be recognized in the study. We indicate a receptor-mediated intracellular Ca++ overload as the main abnormality responsible for myocardial impairment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / complications*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / etiology*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / metabolism
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / pathology
  • Catecholamines / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia / complications*
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia / metabolism
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia / pathology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / ultrastructure
  • Pheochromocytoma / complications*
  • Pheochromocytoma / metabolism
  • Sarcomeres / ultrastructure
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / complications


  • Catecholamines
  • Fatty Acids
  • Calcium