Differential Diagnoses of Pheochromocytoma

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Differentials to consider in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma include the following:
Endocrine
  • hypoglycemia, abnormally low blood sugar usually resulting from excessive insulin or a poor diet
  • medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), a form of thyroid carcinoma
  • mastocytosis, a type of mast cell disease
  • menopausal syndrome, menstrual periods of women stop permanently
  • hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland
  Cardiovascular
  • arrhythmias, an abnormal rate of muscle contractions in the heart
  • ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease (CAD), is the most common of the cardiovascular diseases.
  • baroreflex failure. The baroreflex or baroreceptor reflex is one of the body's homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining blood pressure
  Neurologic
  • diencephalic autonomic epilepsy
  • migraine or cluster headaches (CH), an extremely painful headache that makes you feel very ill
  • stroke, a sudden loss of consciousness when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain
  • meningioma, a tumor arising in the meninges which surround the brain and spinal cord
  Psychogenic anxiety or panic attacks
  • somatization disorder, Somatization is a tendency to experience and communicate psychological distress in the form of somatic symptoms and to seek medical help for them
  • hyperventilation, an increased depth and rate of breathing greater than demanded by the body needs
  • factitious use of drugs
  Pharmacologic
  • alcohol withdrawal
  • drugs stimulating adrenergic receptors
  • abrupt clonidine withdrawal
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