Catecholamine-secreting paragangliomas: recent progress in diagnosis and perioperative management

Skull Base. 2009 Nov;19(6):377-85. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1224771.


Catecholamine-secreting paragangliomas (CSPs) present challenges for the managing team of surgeons and anesthesiologists. Without proper preoperative management and planning, the patient is at high risk for complications and significant morbidity. A review of the literature looking at all aspects of the care of patients with CSP was performed to provide a consensus on the comprehensive care of these difficult patients. A case study is also provided to illustrate the management algorithm. Specific recommendations are made with regards to preoperative workup, including serum and urine testing, tumor localization, angiography, and embolization. Preoperative and intraoperative management techniques by the surgical and anesthesiology teams are discussed, including pharmaceutical interventions and fluid management. Aspects of postoperative care are also discussed. Management of patients with CSP requires significant attention to detail by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons and anesthesiologists. By following the recommendations included within this article, the morbidity associated with removal of these tumors can be significantly reduced or eliminated.

Keywords: Paraganglioma; catecholamine; diagnosis; glomus tumor; perioperative management.