Skip to main content

Locally invasive recurrence or metastasis of pheochromocytoma into the liver?—clinicopathological challenges

Abstract

Pheochromocytomas (PCC) are rare and functional neuroendocrine tumors developing from adrenal chromaffin cells. Predicting malignant behavior especially in the absence of metastasis can be quite challenging even in the era of improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in PCCs. Currently, two histopathological grading systems Pheochromocytoma of the Adrenal Gland Scaled Score (PASS) and Grading of Adrenal Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma (GAPP) score are used in clinical practice, but these are subject to significant interobserver variability. Some of the most useful clinical factors associated with malignancy are large size ([4–5 cm), and genetic features such as presence of SDHB germline mutations. Local invasion is uncommon in PCC and metastasis seen in 10 to 17% but higher in germline mutations and when this occurs management can be challenging. Here, we report on a case with challenges faced by the pathologist and clinicians alike in diagnosis and management of PCC recurrence.

Introduction

Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) are neuroendocrine tumors that arise from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla. They are rare neoplasms belonging to a group of conditions known as paragangliomas with an estimated annual incidence of 0.8 per 100,000 person-years [1] and a recurrence rate of 6.5–16.5% [2]. While majority of PCCs are secretory in nature secreting excess catecholamines, a significant portion of patients are asymptomatic at diagnosis due to increased accessibility to imaging [3, 4], and genetic testing [5].

PCCs are extremely rare tumors, occurring in fewer than 0.2% of patients with hypertension [6, 7] and have an incidence of 0.8 per 100,000 person-years in the general population which peaks during the fourth and fifth decades of life [8]. Approximately 60% of these tumors are sporadic, with the rest due to germline mutations in susceptibility genes as seen in disorders such as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2), and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) or due to various somatic driver mutations [9,10,11,12]. It is generally believed that most PCCs in clinical practice are benign, with low metastatic potential [13].

The diagnostic evaluation of PCCs involves both biochemical evaluation and imaging studies. Currently, complete resection of the tumor is the only cure, and making precise tumor location is of paramount importance for the planning the surgical approach. Surgical extirpation is using laparoscopic and open approaches, based on the size and behavior of tumor, and local surgical expertise that may be available. One of the continuing challenges is the differentiation between malignant and benign tumors on pathological examination as there are no definite differentiating features. Even more challenging is the scenario of a local infiltrative recurrence, with there being no consensus on how best to evaluate and treat them.

Here, we discuss the pathology and treatment challenges of recurrent and locally invasive pheochromocytoma, using an illustrative clinical case.

The case

A 61-year-old Chinese male patient with no significant past medical history was admitted to a tertiary referral institution following road traffic accident and underwent a pan computerized tomography (CT scan) as per trauma protocol. Abdominal imaging showed an incidental heterogeneous enhancing right adrenal mass measuring 4.8 cm × 5.4 cm with areas of internal hypodensities suggestive of necrosis (Fig. 1a). The patient was asymptomatic, with no history of hypertension, headaches, flushing, palpitations, or neurocutaneous stigmata. He had no phenotype of Cushing’s disease and there was no family history of any inherited endocrinopathy.

Fig. 1
figure 1

a CT Abdomen and pelvis, axial cut showing right adrenal lesion measuring 4.8 cm × 5.4 cm at index admission. b68Gallium-DOTANOC PET/CT showing DOTANOC avid right adrenal mass measuring 6.2 cm × 5.0 cm at index admission. c68Gallium-DOTANOC PET/CT showing DOTANOC avid right adrenal mass measuring 2.3 cm × 1.7 cm 2 years post-operatively. d Non-enhanced phase of adrenal CT showing mass measuring 3.2 cm × 2.9 cm (arrow) 2 years 6 months post-operatively. e Port-venous phase of adrenal CT showing mass measuring 3.2 cm × 2.9 cm with 77% absolute contrast washout 2 years 6 months post-operatively. f Non-enhanced phase of adrenal CT showing mass measuring 4.8 cm × 4.7 cm (arrow) 3 years after initial resection. g Porto-venous phase of adrenal CT showing mass (arrow) 3 years after initial resection. h MRI liver 3 years 6 months after initial resection showing mass measuring 5.2 cm × 6.7 cm × 6.2 cm in size with invasion into the right hepatic lobe involving segments 5–8 (arrow), areas of necrosis noted

Biochemical investigations included pheochromocytoma screen, plasma renin/aldosterone panel and low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST) were performed for the patient, with the results as shown in Table 1. The cortisol levels were possibly secondary to stress from road traffic injuries. Functional imaging was performed using a 68Gallium-DOTANOC PET/CT scan which showed mild DOTANOC-avidity within a heterogeneous right adrenal mass measuring 6.2 cm × 5.0 cm with no distant uptake (Fig. 1b). Prior to surgery, the patient was started on alpha and beta blockade with Phenoxybenzamine 10 mg OM and Atenolol 25 mg OM as per institution protocol.

Table 1 Biochemical results at index presentation

A transabdominal right laparoscopic adrenalectomy was performed without any complications. Gross histological examination showed a circumscribed nodule with a variegated appearance measuring up to 6.5 cm. Microscopy showed a classical zellballen like appearance with some atypical features such as focal areas of larger nests and diffuse growth (Fig. 2), and an area of focal capsular invasion was seen with no evidence of definitive lymphovascular invasion (Fig. 3). Strong staining of the tumor cells for CD56, synaptophysin, and chromogranin was seen on immunohistochemistry, while AE1/3 and Melan-A was negative. Overall, the features were consistent with those of a pheochromocytoma, and the Pheochromocytoma of the Adrenal Gland Scoring Scale (PASS) was 3 (Table 3). A multigene genetics panel was sent for, which included screening for hereditary pheochromocytoma-paraganglioma syndrome, Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome and Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN2), among other genes, and came back negative. A WGS was performed to evaluate the common pathological mutations associated with PCC/PPGL and none of any significance was found, including variants of unknown significance.

Fig. 2
figure 2

High power view shows nests of tumor cells within a richly vascular and haemorrhagic background. The tumor cells have abundant amphophilic granular to clear cytoplasm and rounded nuclei with stippled chromatin

Fig. 3
figure 3

Focal capsular invasion is noted (arrowed)

The patient continued to be asymptomatic and normotensive with normal urinary metanephrines for up to 2 years following surgery. On the subsequent clinic visit the urinary biochemistry was abnormal as shown in Table 2. A repeat 68Gallium-DOTANOC PET/CT showed a DOTANOC-avid mass in the surgical bed superior to the surgical clips measuring 2.3 cm × 1.7 cm with a SUV max of 4.0. The tumor was inseparable from the right hepatic lobe anteriorly and abutted the intrahepatic inferior vena cava medially, with preservation of the intervening fat plane with no other DOTANOC-avid masses elsewhere (Fig. 4). The patient was restarted on Phenoxybenzamine 10 mg OM and Atenolol 25 mg OM but was PBZ was switched to Prazosin 1 mg ON following intolerance and considered for revision surgery. However, the patient opted to pursue conservative approach. Serial scans were performed and the increases in size of the tumor is shown in Fig. 5e–h. The patient underwent an open en-bloc right hepatectomy along with the tumor adherent to the inferior vena cava (Fig. 6).

Table 2 Biochemical results at recurrence 2 years post-index surgery
Fig. 4
figure 4

Right hepatectomy specimen, tumor measuring 5.0 cm × 7.0 cm × 7.0 cm (circled)

Fig. 5
figure 5

Management algorithm for pheochromocytoma and associated metastatic disease

Fig. 6
figure 6

Surveillance MRI of the tumor bed showing no recurrence

Histology of the excised tissue confirmed recurrence of the pheochromocytoma, with similar features to the initial tumor. Immunohistochemistry again showed strong expression of synaptophysin and chromogranin A. However, satellite tumors were found in the parenchyma of the liver and a focus of intravascular invasion was present. Therefore, the clinical conundrum was that as to whether it was a recurrence in the adrenal bed invading into the liver or metastasis of the pheochromocytoma to the liver due to the presence of widespread fibrosis. His post-operative course was uneventful, and he was discharged without any complications. The multidisciplinary tumor board recommendation was for adjuvant radiotherapy to the tumor bed, but the patient declined the treatment. Though his tumor expressed SSTR, no somatostatin analogs were considered as he was asymptomatic. He continues to be on surveillance and his last reported urinary metanephrines were normal. Post-resection, MRI scan after 1 year showed no recurrence in the tumor bed as shown in Fig. 6, and there was no evidence of distant metastasis.

Discussion

The diagnostic criteria of ‘malignant’ pheochromocytoma remains a controversial topic. Nearly 10 to 20% of patients with PCC may develop metastasis, more commonly in patients with specific mutations [14, 15]. The 2022 WHO classification of endocrine tumors defines metastatic disease as “tumor identified at sites where normal paraganglia do not occur (i.e., histologically confirmed lymph node or bone).” [13]. Differentiating malignant tumors from benign ones is a challenging task as they may appear histologically and biochemically identical, and currently there are no markers either histological or molecular or predictive factors that can differentiate the two spectra of disease. However certain factors such as large tumor size, extra-adrenal location, increased dopamine secretion (> 3-fold increase), high Ki-67 index and presence of SDHB mutation (most important factor) to be associated with higher metastatic potential in PCCs [6, 16,17,18].

Risk-stratification scores using histological features such as the Pheochromocytoma of the Adrenal Gland Scaled Score (PASS) [19] and Grading of Adrenal Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma (GAPP) score [20] are commonly used in clinical practice to predict risk of malignancy aid decision-making. The various parameters used in the two scoring systems are shown in Table 3. Tumors with a PASS > 4 and GAPP > 3 are thought to have increased metastatic potential though with lower specificity [19, 21]. However, there remains no high-level evidence behind the use of any prognostication score. Apart from determining the malignant potential of a pheochromocytoma, the risk of recurrence is an important clinical consideration. The recurrence rate for PPGLs is estimated to be one per 100 person-years, with 40% being malignant recurrence.

Table 3 Comparison of PASS and GAPP scores following index and recurrent surgery

The European Society of Endocrinology defines high risk patients as young patients < 20 years old, those with a genetic disease, tumor size > 1.5 cm, or a paraganglioma who should be offered annual follow-up with biochemical screening for the rest of their lives [18]. Similarly, in a recent retrospective study involving 242 patients, features such as genetic mutation, younger age, larger tumor size, and PASS value were associated with recurrence [17]. With little ability to determine the natural history of PCC, the European Society of Endocrinology recommends follow-up with annual biochemical screening for at least 10 years in patients who have been operated on, and for lifelong annual follow-up in high risk patient groups [18, 22]. In addition, in patients with high-risk histology (such as PASS > 4 or GAPP > 3), should be considered under the high-risk screening group (Fig. 5).

The standard treatment of pheochromocytoma is complete surgical resection following medical therapy (alpha blockade–selective or non-selective). Minimally invasive adrenalectomy is recommended for most pheochromocytomas, while an open approach is preferred for large tumors > 6 cm and where there is local invasion [6] Partial cortical-sparing adrenalectomy may be considered for a small group of patients, namely those with hereditary disease who have small tumors and have previously undergone contralateral complete adrenalectomy, to prevent subsequent adrenal insufficiency [13]. In patients with metastatic disease, open resection of both primary and secondary lesions is preferred, where possible, as in the case of our patient [23].

Metastasis to the various organs is dependent on mutational status [24] and occurs via hematogenous or lymphatic routes usually to the bones, lungs, lymph nodes and liver [15]. Poor survival is associated with metastases to the liver and lungs especially in those with SDHB mutations compared to sporadic disease [24, 25]. Local therapies like radiotherapy, nonsurgical ablative therapy, and trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE) may be considered in the treatment of liver metastasis, where surgical resection in not possible [26, 27]. External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) at doses > 40 Gy has been shown to provide symptom and local tumor control for sites other than liver such as soft tissue and bones [27]. Local ablative therapies such as radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and ethanol ablation are generally used in tumors < 4 cm and have been demonstrated to have up to 85% efficacy for local control and 92% for symptomatic control, making them a safe and effective treatment modality [28], whereas TACE may be useful especially for patients with multiple liver metastases. All these procedures used in local ablation may induce catecholamine surge causing hypertensive crisis, may require premedication and therefore must be closely monitored during treatment [29].

Systemic therapies also play a role in the management of unresectable disease and metastases involving organs other than the liver. 131I-MBIG has been shown to alleviate symptoms and stabilize tumor growth, with a study showing a complete response in 10%, partial response in 20% and a 5-year survival of 64% [30]. Sixty percent of Iobenguane I-131 avid tumors respond to MIBG, and it has been suggested that MBIG may be used in patients who have (a) unresectable progressive pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma, (b) symptoms from disease not amenable to locoregional control, or (c) a high tumor burden and few bony metastases [31].

As PCCs have been shown to express somatostatin receptor types 2 (SSTR2) and 3 (SSTR3), analogs such as DOTATOC and DOTATOC labeled with indium (111In), gallium (68Ga), yttrium (90Y), and lutetium (177Lu) have been used in both detection and therapy [32]. Studies have shown that peptide receptor radioligand therapy (PRRT) using Yttrium-90-labeled DOTA0-Tyr3-octreotide and lutetium Lu-177 dotatate achieved disease control or a partial response between 71 and 90% in patients with progressive unresectable pheochromocytoma and has a disease control rate of 71% [32, 33]. Systemic chemotherapy using a combination of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dacarbazine is also used for patients with unresectable and rapidly progressive pheochromocytoma, especially in patients with high tumor burden or many bony metastases [34], with a higher efficacy in patients with SHB mutation [35]. A combination of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dacarbazine is typically used [28], though some suggest that tumors with SDH mutations respond to temozolomide either as a single agent or in combination with other chemotherapeutic drugs such as streptozotozin, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil [29].

Recent understanding of the molecular pathways especially with kinase signaling involving cluster 2 PCCs have been shown to be associated with PCCs. Cluster 2 mutations involve germline mutations of the rearranged-during-transfection (RET) oncogene associated with MEN 2A/2B disease, neurofibromin (NF1), transmembrane protein 127 (TMEM127), Myc-associated factor (MAX) and somatic mutations of HRAS and fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) genes [12]. The risk of metastasis in association with the cluster 2 mutations range between 2-12 %[12]. Targeted therapies such as Sunitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has shown promise in the treatment of metastatic pheochromocytoma. A recent phase 2 trial in patients with progressive PPGL demonstrated a disease control rate of 83% and a median progression-free survival of 13 months [36].

Conclusion

The diagnosis of malignancy in PCCs can be quite challenging for pathologists even in the era of improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in PCCs. Equally, it can be challenging for the clinicians in deciding the best modality of treatment especially in locally invasive and metastatic disease. The need for multi-disciplinary discussion is vital in view of the multi-modal treatment options available made more difficult by a lack of clear evidence in the present literature. A clear clinical algorithm for its diagnosis, management and follow-up will aid clinicians in managing similar cases.

Availability of data and materials

There is no data that requires to be shared.

References

  1. Beard CM, et al. Occurrence of pheochromocytoma in Rochester, Minnesota, 1950 through 1979. Mayo Clin Proc. 1983;58(12):802–4.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Venugopal S, Chhabria M, Quartuccio M. Recurrence of Pheochromocytoma With Metastases After Resection of Primary Tumor. Cureus. 2020;12(5):e8328.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Gruber LM, et al. Pheochromocytoma Characteristics and Behavior Differ Depending on Method of Discovery. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019;104(5):1386–93.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Oshmyansky AR, et al. Serendipity in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2013;37(5):820–3.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Sherlock M, et al. Adrenal Incidentaloma. Endocr Rev. 2020;41(6):775–820.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  6. Lenders JWM, et al. Genetics, diagnosis, management and future directions of research of phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma: a position statement and consensus of the Working Group on Endocrine Hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension. J Hypertens. 2020;38(8):1443–56.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Young WF Jr. Adrenal causes of hypertension: pheochromocytoma and primary aldosteronism. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2007;8(4):309–20.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Neumann HPH, Young WF Jr, Eng C. Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma. N Engl J Med. 2019;381(6):552–65.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Fishbein L, et al. Comprehensive Molecular Characterization of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma. Cancer Cell. 2017;31(2):181–93.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. Jochmanova I, Pacak K. Genomic Landscape of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma. Trends Cancer. 2018;4(1):6–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Burnichon N, et al. Integrative genomic analysis reveals somatic mutations in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Hum Mol Genet. 2011;20(20):3974–85.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Nölting S, et al. Personalized Management of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma. Endocr Rev. 2021;43(2):199–239.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. Lam AK-Y. Update on adrenal tumours in 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) of Endocrine Tumours. Endocr Pathol. 2017;28(3):213–27.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Granberg D, Juhlin CC, Falhammar H. Metastatic Pheochromocytomas and Abdominal Paragangliomas. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021;106(5):e1937–52.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Ilanchezhian M, et al. Emerging Treatments for Advanced/Metastatic Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma. Curr Treat Options in Oncol. 2020;21(11):85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Schovanek J, et al. The size of the primary tumor and age at initial diagnosis are independent predictors of the metastatic behavior and survival of patients with SDHB-related pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Cancer. 2014;14:523.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. Eisenhofer G, et al. Plasma methoxytyramine: a novel biomarker of metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma in relation to established risk factors of tumour size, location and SDHB mutation status. Eur J Cancer. 2012;48(11):1739–49.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Plouin PF, et al. European Society of Endocrinology Clinical Practice Guideline for long-term follow-up of patients operated on for a phaeochromocytoma or a paraganglioma. Eur J Endocrinol. 2016;174(5):G1–g10.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Thompson LD. Pheochromocytoma of the Adrenal gland Scaled Score (PASS) to separate benign from malignant neoplasms: a clinicopathologic and immunophenotypic study of 100 cases. Am J Surg Pathol. 2002;26(5):551–66.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Kimura N, et al. Pathological grading for predicting metastasis in phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014;21(3):405–14.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Strong VE, et al. Prognostic indicators of malignancy in adrenal pheochromocytomas: clinical, histopathologic, and cell cycle/apoptosis gene expression analysis. Surgery. 2008;143(6):759–68.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Eisenhofer G, Tischler AS. Neuroendocrine cancer. Closing the GAPP on predicting metastases. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014;10(6):315–6.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Adjallé R, et al. Treatment of malignant pheochromocytoma. Horm Metab Res. 2009;41(9):687–96.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Cui Y, et al. Differences in Clinical Manifestations and Tumor Features Between Metastatic Pheochromocytoma/Paraganglioma Patients With and Without Germline SDHB Mutation. Endocr Pract. 2021;27(4):348–53.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Timmers HJ, et al. Metastases but not cardiovascular mortality reduces life expectancy following surgical resection of apparently benign pheochromocytoma. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2008;15(4):1127–33.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. McBride JF, et al. Minimally invasive treatment of metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation therapy. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2011;22(9):1263–70.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Breen W, et al. External beam radiation therapy for advanced/unresectable malignant paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma. Adv Radiat Oncol. 2018;3(1):25–9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Kohlenberg J, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Ablative Therapy in the Treatment of Patients with Metastatic Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma. Cancers (Basel). 2019;11(2):195.

  29. Teno S, et al. Acutely exacerbated hypertension and increased inflammatory signs due to radiation treatment for metastatic pheochromocytoma. Endocr J. 1996;43(5):511–6.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Gonias S, et al. Phase II study of high-dose [131I]metaiodobenzylguanidine therapy for patients with metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. J Clin Oncol. 2009;27(25):4162–8.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  31. Jimenez C, Núñez R, Wendt R. High-specific-activity iodine 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine for the treatment of metastatic pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma: a novel therapy for an orphan disease. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2020;27(3):162–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Taïeb D, et al. Molecular imaging and radionuclide therapy of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma in the era of genomic characterization of disease subgroups. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2019;26(11):R627–r652.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  33. Forrer F, et al. Radiolabeled DOTATOC in patients with advanced paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma. Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2008;52(4):334–40.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Niemeijer ND, et al. Chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, vincristine and dacarbazine for malignant paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma: systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Endocrinol. 2014;81(5):642–51.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. He J, et al. Successful chemotherapy of hepatic metastases in a case of succinate dehydrogenase subunit B-related paraganglioma. Endocrine. 2009;36(2):189–93.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  36. O'Kane GM, et al. A phase 2 trial of sunitinib in patients with progressive paraganglioma or pheochromocytoma: the SNIPP trial. Br J Cancer. 2019;120(12):1113–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

None to declare.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Rajeev Parameswaran: design of the study, discussion and integration of the results, review and revision of the manuscript. Sarah S Tang, James Lee: data collection and analysis, first draft of the manuscript. Sujith Wijerethne, Shridhar Ganpathi Iyer: clinical study of patient, discussion, and revision of the manuscript. Susan Hue, Nga Min En: interpretation of the histological and immunohistochemical analyses; discussion and integration of the results; revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rajeev Parameswaran.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

No ethical approval required.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tang, S.S., Lee, J.W.K., Wijerethne, S. et al. Locally invasive recurrence or metastasis of pheochromocytoma into the liver?—clinicopathological challenges. World J Surg Onc 20, 360 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12957-022-02817-6

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12957-022-02817-6

Keywords

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Adrenalectomy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy