Pheochromocytoma and Cortical Adrenal Tumors

Also known as: adrenal gland tumors

What are pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors? 

Your body has two adrenal glands. These glands are located above the kidneys and produce hormones that allow your body to function properly. If a tumor grows in the inner section of one of the adrenal glands, the medulla, this tumor is known as pheochromocytoma. If it grows in the outer section of an adrenal gland, the cortex, it’s known as a cortical adrenal tumor.

What causes pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors?

The exact cause of  pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors is unknown. They typically occur in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50, and people with certain rare genetic disorders have an increased risk of developing them.

​What are the symptoms of pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors?

These tumors can cause the adrenal glands to produce high levels of hormones, which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, fluid retention, easy bruising, excessive sweating, headache, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and more.

How can pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors affect children?

Pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors are rare in children. When they do occur, the symptoms are similar to those experienced by adults.

What are pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors treatments?

If pheochromocytoma and cortical adrenal tumors are causing symptoms or complications, the primary treatment is the surgical removal of the tumors.


Reviewed by: Alejandro Diaz, MD

This page was last updated on: June 13, 2022 03:12 PM

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