Bladder paraganglioma: basic characteristics and new perspectives on perioperative management

World J Urol. 2022 Nov;40(11):2807-2816. doi: 10.1007/s00345-022-04166-1. Epub 2022 Oct 7.


Purpose: Paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma are rare neuroendocrine tumors with severe metabolic and cardiovascular complications. Bladder PGLs are rare, and their clinical management is not precise. Here, we discuss the basic characteristics and perioperative management of bladder PGLs.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 20 bladder PGL cases diagnosed at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center. Case notes were reviewed, clinical presentations, therapies, and outcomes were collected, and data analysis was performed.

Results: Ten male and ten female patients with a median age of 47.5 years (range 14-69 years) were included. Most patients (65%) had no symptoms, and PGL was detected incidentally during medical checkups. All patients were treated surgically; 4 (20%) underwent transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), and 16 (80%) underwent partial cystectomy. Strong intraoperative blood pressure fluctuations were observed in 13 patients (65%). Two patients who were treated preoperatively with α-receptor blockers also experienced severe intraoperative blood pressure fluctuations. Postoperative measurements of troponin I were available for 3 patients, and all were significantly elevated. All patients were diagnosed with bladder PGL on postoperative pathological examination. The median follow-up time was 51 months (range 2-147 months), and 2 patients were lost to follow-up at 1 and 3 months; 16 (88.9%) survived without recurrence, 2 patients (11.1%) experienced recurrence, and 1 patient died.

Conclusion: Most bladder paragangliomas are easily mistaken for bladder urothelial carcinoma, and robust hemodynamic instability during surgery might be a challenge for urologists. Postoperative monitoring of troponin I, regardless of the presence of clinical symptoms, is recommended for patients with bladder PGL.

Keywords: Bladder; Clinical presentation; Myocardial injury; PGL; Perioperative; Prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraganglioma* / metabolism
  • Paraganglioma* / pathology
  • Paraganglioma* / surgery
  • Pheochromocytoma* / pathology
  • Pheochromocytoma* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Troponin I
  • Urinary Bladder / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Young Adult


  • Troponin I