Metastatic non-adrenal phaeochromocytoma (paraganglioma)

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Severe low back pain radiating to the legs. Phaeochromocytoma on histology following surgical intervention in the lumbar spine. Elevated serum catecholamines.

Patient Data

Age: 55
Gender: Female

Large mixed solid and cystic mass sitting above the right kidney but not arising from it (displacing it posteriorly and laterally causing the upper ureter to be obstructed). The right adrenal is separate and normal (arrow). The left adrenal is also normal.

Large posteriorly centred mass infiltrating the laminae and spinous process (arrow) of L5 causing gross compression of the thecal sac and nerves roots.

Case Discussion

Phaeochromocytoma is a tumour of 10% (rule of 10's) i.e. in 10% of cases malignant (as in this case), 10% extra-adrenal (as in this case) and metastasising in 10% (as in this case).

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 28815
Published: 13th Apr 2014
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
System: Spine
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.