Paragangliomas and Pheochromocytomas | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma?

The symptoms of paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma (PCCs and PGLs) may vary from child to child and depend on where the tumor is located and whether it produces hormones. Symptoms might mimic other, more common ailments.

For PCCs/PGLs, the most common symptoms are:

  • high blood pressure
  • rapid pulse
  • heart palpitations
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • poor weight gain despite good appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • pale skin
  • clammy skin
  • sweating
  • growth failure

Because many of these symptoms can also point to other conditions, it’s important to have your child diagnosed by a qualified medical professional right away.

What causes PCCs/PGLs?

Sometimes, tumors emerge with no known cause. Some result from a mix of genetic and environmental factors, while others are linked to inherited conditions.

Examples of conditions associated with PGLs and PCCs include hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma syndrome, neurofibromatosis, von Hippel-Lindau disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes, tuberous sclerosis, Sturge-Weber syndrome, and ataxia-telangiectasia.