BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-006377
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Unsuspected pheochromocytoma of the urinary bladder: reminder of an important clinical lesson

  1. Anurag Rai
  1. Department of Surgery, CSMMU Lucknow, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Harvinder Singh Pahwa, pahwakgmu{at}

Bladder pheochromocytoma creates an extremely rare situation (0.06% of all bladder tumours). We came across a case with a complaint of intermittent episodes of haematuria. Cystoscopy revealed a solid, bluish submucosal growth with increased vascularity. Immediately after taking biopsy, the patient developed a sharp headache, chest heaviness and marked rise in blood pressure. The procedure was abandoned. Later, serum and urinary markers for pheochromocytoma were within normal limits. The histopathology report came out to be pheochromocytoma of the bladder. Later, partial cystectomy was carried out under general anaesthesia and histopathology confirmed the same. Thus, a surgeon/urologist should have a high index of suspicion for bladder pheochromocytoma while dealing with such cases if he comes across the characteristic symptoms of sharp headache, hypertension, palpitation, sweating, fainting or blurring of vision immediately after voiding or during the cystoscopic manipulation of tumour or cystoscopic findings of a submucosal supratrigonal vascular tumour with a bluish hue.

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