European Journal of Endocrinology

 ENDOCRINOLOGY IN PREGNANCY: Pheochromocytoma in pregnancy: case series and review of literature
 

Pheochromocytoma in pregnancy is extremely rare. Early recognition is crucial as antepartum diagnosis can largely decrease maternal and fetal mortality rates. As symptoms of pheochromocytoma are rather similar to those of other far more common causes of hypertension during pregnancy, timely diagnosis is a challenge. In pregnant patients, similar to non-pregnant patients, increased plasma and/or 24-h urine (nor)metanephrine concentrations most reliably confirm the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. MRI and ultrasound are the only imaging modalities that can be used safely during pregnancy to localize the tumor. During pregnancy, pretreatment consists of alpha blockade as usual. However, dosing of α-adrenergic receptor blockers during pregnancy is a challenge as hypertension must be treated while preserving adequate uteroplacental circulation. When the diagnosis is made within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, it is generally recommended to remove the tumor in the second trimester, while resection is generally postponed till after delivery when the diagnosis is made in the third trimester and medical pretreatment is sufficient. Both during and after pregnancy, laparoscopic surgery is the preferred approach for resection of the tumor. There is no consensus in literature about the preferred route and timing of delivery. Therefore, in our opinion, decisions should be made on an individual basis by an experienced and dedicated multidisciplinary team. Over the last decades, maternal and fetal prognosis has improved considerably. Further increasing awareness of this rare diagnosis and treatment of these patients by a dedicated team in a tertiary referral hospital are critical factors for optimal maternal and fetal outcome.