Clinical Chemistry Blog Notes 8d-B

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Clinical Chemistry Logo

Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the body, as the tenant pays house-rent for the use of the house.”- Ramakrishna

No one can break away from the power of disease; everyone amid us can be a victim of whichever disease that is caused by our action or by any situation. I personally suffered from different kinds of diseases, from mild to severe ones. Others may think that they did not yet suffer from a disease, but that’s so impossible. One day our body will acquire weariness on all the things we do and this will pay off with a lot of infirmity.  No one can escape with the reality that our body will become exhausted in a little while as we carry out our day after day customs.  Nevertheless, one of our most treasured dreams is to have a healthy living. Even if we seize to take good care of our self, we cannot really presume when we will have a disease.And so, we must then be cautious on what we do to prevent diseases in our lives.

As I go along with my blog, I want to share with you different kinds of uncommon diseases that are specific for adrenal medulla, which can be seen in our kidney; I want you, my readers, to gain more knowledge about some diseases that you may encounter. Furthermore, I want you become aware of the signs and symptoms of these diseases.

According to statistics of CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, the 8th cause of death in United States is kidney diseases. It means that there are a lot of people suffering from these diseases, so why not tackle about some of these? Two of the most common are pheochromocytoma and paragangliomonas.

Does it sound familiar to you?

I, myself, don’t really even know what these diseases are at first.

Pheochromocytoma and paragangliomas are rare types of catecholamines producing tumors.These diseases are formed by the adrenal glands and can be located anywhere in our body. These can then control normal body stress reaction by producing hormones.



Pheochromocytoma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is said that pheochromocytomas are 85-90% found in the adrenal glands, while 98% in the abdomen. It is the additional production of catecholamines in the body that can have a severe effect on us, because our homeostasis is altered.

Symptoms and Signs

The common symptoms and signs are:

    • A sense of approaching disaster
    • Abdominal pain
    • Angina
    • Chest pain
    • Clammy skin
    • Cold
    • Constipation
    • Diaphoresis
    • Dizziness
    • Dyspnea
    • Elevated blood sugar
    • Epigastric pain
    • Facial flushing (redness)
    • Hypertension
    • Increased respiratory rate
    • Nausea,
    • Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
    • Pale skin tone
    • Palpitations
    • Paresthesia
    • Postural hypotension
    • Severe headache
    • Sweating
    • Tachycardia
    • Tachypnea
    • Visual disturbances
    • Vomiting
    • Weight loss

Norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine are the one being secreted by catecholamines. If epinephrine is introduced in the body or more volume is secreted there will be hypertension, sweating and headache that can suggest pheochromocytoma.


Diagnostic tests for pheochromocytoma include the following:

  • 24-hour urinary collection for catecholamines and metanephrines
  • Chest and abdomen imaging (CT or MRI) if catecholamine screen positive
  • Consultation with an ophthalmologist to rule out retinal angiomas (VHL disease)
  • Genetic testing for mutations causing the MEN 2A and 2B syndromes
  • PET scanning: for the detection and localization of pheochromocytomas
  • Possibly nuclear imaging with 123 I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG)

*Catecholamines that are found in urine and serum may indicate pheorchomocytoma


The removal of the tumor is the treatment of choice. On the other hand the patient is said to first take drugs before doing the operation, if the patient is experiencing hypertension. Also medications such as chemotherapy can kill the tumor cells; and radiotherapy can destroy the tumors.



English: Location of major endocrine glands
English: Location of major endocrine glands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is also called, Pharmacologic Time Bomb. This is a time bomb in our body, which is a tumor than can lead to a malignant one if it is not removed at its early stage. These tumors are found outside the adrenal medulla and are also called extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma or paragangliomonas. It is a time bomb because it releases adrenaline hormone. We all know that adrenaline is a fight or flight response in our body that reacts with stressful situation. Raising heart rate and blood pressure may occur also there will be a great oxygen intake that will lead to the brains and muscles; so if this hormone will be secreted, our homeostasis in our body will be affected. So if you have this kind of disease you must be careful in all your actions and make a considerable decision to remove tumors in your body. This is also called Sympathetic paragangliomonas; these tumors are found in the chest abdomen or in the pelvis. Also this is more malignant comparing it to the pheochromocytoma. There is also parasympathetic paragangliomonas located in the head and neck tissues. It is then called “head and neck paragangliomonas”.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hypertension
  • Sweating  


In the diagnosing of the disease, a tumor biopsy is used. However, it cannot be differentiated if it is a malignant or a benign paragangliomonas. It can only tell if it is a malignant when other organs are infected. So even if it is a benign one, the tumor must be removed already so that it will not spread in the body.


The treatment of the disease is the removal of the tumor in the form of surgery and radiotherapy can also be used.


13 thoughts on “Clinical Chemistry Blog Notes 8d-B

  1. what specific factors could trigger these diseases or the formation of tumors (e.g. lifestyle, genes)? are there certain ways to prevent them? what’s the “best” option/ choice of treatment to choose when diagnosed with these diseases?

    1. These diseases are said to be inherited, hiwever there are only few literature about these diseases and so i really cannot tell what is the specific rtiology of these diseases. for the teeatmnt and the diagnosis of each disease, they are already explained in the qrticle just review it again thank you:-)

  2. Honestly, this is the first time that I’ve encountered those two terms that were discussed. Aside from having difficulty pronouncing these terms, their complex structure make them seem scary and alarming. It is always important to know the things that go around in your body for you to be able to know what to avoid and what to do to fully take care of it. This blog is helpful in a way that it was able to discuss two of the things that are quite unfamiliar to a lot of people especially those that are not studying their kinds. Readers of these blog will know what to do in case the symptoms cited could be seen in them.

    1. I have the same kind of dilemma at first in pronouncinf the nmes of the diseases but as you get along with the article you’ll be practiced in pronouncing the diseases.

      so if you have this kinds of symptoms, you should not be ignoring them bec. they may be fatal in the end.

      thank you also for appreciating my article.

  3. Nice article! The best choice in disseminating health information which consists terms that are unfamiliar but very helpful to people when these terms were explained carefully.

  4. Thanks for making this. It made me more aware of those kidney diseases. I look forward for more of your blog.

  5. Very impressive blog… This kind of information let’s people become aware of diseases that our body can catch any time of the day. At least, there are good persons who are concerned with the welfare of others. Keep it up! 🙂

  6. This is really interesting and informative. It is noteworthy that amidst the busy scheme mandated in our world, there are health advocates who constantly remind the public about the essentials. Keep it up. Thanks for the guidance.

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