Adrenal incidentaloma in pregnancy

Bridget Sinnott, Betul Hatipoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypertension is the most common medical complication of pregnancy. Pheochromocytomas are a rare cause of hypertension in pregnancy, but potentially lethal for both the mother and fetus if not diagnosed early and treated appropriately. We report a case of a 35-year-old black woman who, at 32 weeks gestation, was found to have an adrenal mass on a routine antenatal ultrasound. She was subsequently found to have a right adrenal pheochromocytoma. This was managed medically with excellent maternal and fetal outcome. Complete resection of the tumor occurred immediately after a caesarian section delivery. Biochemical screening for a pheochromocytoma was negative 2 weeks after resection of the tumor. Pheochromocytoma is an endocrine and obstetric emergency. A pheochromocytoma should be considered in all patients with hypertension, especially if the hypertension is paroxysmal in nature. We propose the routine use of antenatal ultrasound to examine the adrenal glands in patients with hypertension. The use of plasma metanephrines and normetanephrines for the diagnosis and follow up of a pheochromocytoma in pregnancy are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-208
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenal incidentaloma
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Plasma metanephrines
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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