Pheochromocytoma-induced cardiogenic shock

Acta Chir Belg. 2023 Oct;123(5):573-576. doi: 10.1080/00015458.2022.2079822. Epub 2022 May 22.


Background: Pheochromocytoma is a rare catecholamine-secreting tumor of neuroendocrine origin. It has a prevalence of <1% in adults with hypertension. In some cases, hypertension is associated with the classical triad of headache, sweating, and tachycardia. Cardiogenic shock due to stress-induced cardiomyopathy caused by catecholamine excess may rarely be the initial symptom of pheochromocytoma, mimicking Takotsubo Syndrome.

Methods: We report the case of a 58-year-old female patient with pheochromocytoma-induced cardiogenic shock (PICS) in the early postoperative period after thyroidectomy.

Results: PICS is caused by a catecholamine storm, which induces myocardial stress and cardiac dysfunction. In such cases, early management with mechanical circulatory assistance may be promptly considered, given the increased risk of mortality.

Conclusion: PICS is a rare and serious condition. Prompt diagnosis and adequate resuscitation measures are necessary to avoid high mortality.

Keywords: Pheochromocytoma; Takotsubo syndrome; cardiogenic shock; hypertension.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms* / complications
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Adult
  • Catecholamines
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Pheochromocytoma* / complications
  • Pheochromocytoma* / diagnosis
  • Pheochromocytoma* / surgery
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / diagnosis
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / etiology
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / therapy


  • Catecholamines