Laparoscopic resection of extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma--case report and review of the literature in pediatric patients

J Pediatr Surg. 2007 Oct;42(10):1780-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2007.06.025.


Surgery for pheochromocytoma differs from that of other tumors owing to the potential release of catecholamines, which may lead to severe intraoperative hemodynamic changes. The present standard of care for resection of adrenal pheochromocytoma has become a laparoscopic approach for surgical excision. Extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma is a very rare entity, especially in the pediatric age group; the utility of the laparoscopic approach is not established in this population. We present a case report of a child with hormonally active extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma originating in the organ of Zuckerkandl that was resected laparoscopically. We found the laparoscopic approach gave excellent exposure, allowing for proper identification of the tumor's origin and its relation to surrounding structures; a complete resection with excellent control of the feeding blood vessels was performed. Herein we present the details of this case and a review of the relevant literature. After our initial experience we can recommend laparoscopic exploration for similar cases of suspected extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma as an appropriate tool to identify extension of the disease and estimate resectability. Proper patient preparation and monitoring are critical for success.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Catecholamines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Para-Aortic Bodies / metabolism
  • Para-Aortic Bodies / pathology*
  • Pheochromocytoma / blood supply
  • Pheochromocytoma / diagnosis
  • Pheochromocytoma / metabolism
  • Pheochromocytoma / surgery*
  • Prazosin / administration & dosage
  • Preanesthetic Medication


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Catecholamines
  • Prazosin