Urinary bladder malignant paraganglioma with vertebral metastasis: a case report with literature review

Chin J Cancer. 2013 Nov;32(11):624-8. doi: 10.5732/cjc.012.10317. Epub 2013 May 14.


Paraganglioma is a rare neuroendocrine neoplasm observed in patients of all ages, with an estimated incidence of 3/1,000,000 population. It has long been recognized that some cases are familial. The majority of these tumors are benign, and the only absolute criterion for malignancy is the presence of metastases at sites where chromaffin tissue is not usually found. Some tumors show gross local invasion and recurrence, which may indeed kill the patient, but this does not necessarily associate with metastatic potential. Here, we report a case of vertebral metastatic paraganglioma that occurred 19 months after the patient had undergone partial cystectomy for urinary bladder paraganglioma. We believe this to be a rarely reported bone metastasis of paraganglioma arising originally within the urinary bladder. In this report, we also provide a summary of the general characteristics of this disease, together with progress in diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromogranin A / metabolism
  • Cystectomy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraganglioma* / metabolism
  • Paraganglioma* / pathology
  • Paraganglioma* / secondary
  • Paraganglioma* / surgery
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Synaptophysin / metabolism
  • Technetium
  • Thoracic Vertebrae*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / surgery


  • Chromogranin A
  • Synaptophysin
  • Technetium
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase