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Searching for Pheochromocytoma: A New and Better Test?

Lawrence R. Krakoff, MD
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Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood NJ 07631 Requests for Reprints: Lawrence Krakoff, MD, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, 350 Engle Street, Englewood NJ 07631.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1995;123(2):150-151. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-123-2-199507150-00011
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Pheochromocytoma. The term calls to mind fundamental problems in clinical medicine, such as secondary hypertension, screening for rare but dangerous diseases, management of high-risk patients, and short-hand mnemonics for “Board” questions (for example, the Rule of 10). To the medical student and resident, pheochromocytoma is a rare cause of secondary hypertension, a “zebra” whose hoofbeats are almost never heard among the herd of ordinary patients with hypertension encountered in the medical clinic or in-patient services. The specialist often deals with pheochromocytoma after a diagnosis is made elsewhere by a discerning or lucky physician (serendipity still helps us in this regard).

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