Phaeochromocytoma: Experience with 12 cases in Tikur Anbessa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Orva Johnson


Background: The incidence of phaeochromocytomas in Europe and the USA is well documented. From Africa, including Ethiopia, there are few reports on the disease. This paper describes 12 cases ofphaeochrocytomas managed in Tikur Anbessa Hospital Addis Ababa between 198 1 and 2001 inclusive.
Methods: A retrospective study of 40 patients undergoing adrenalectomy during the years under review was undertaken. The indications for surgery were Cushing's Syndromes in 24 cases, Phaeochromocytoma in 12 and adrenocortical tumours in 4 patients.This paper describes our experience with the management of the twelve patients with the phaeochromocytomas.
Results:The patients' ages ranged between 21 and GO years. There were 5 males and 7 females. The majority of patients presented with clinical features related to episodic elevation of cathecolamines. Vanilylmandelic acid (VMA) in 24 hour urine was elevated in 10 patients. Localization of the tumours was made by ultrasonography or on  exploration. The phaeochromocytomas were unilateral in 10 cases, seven of them on the left side. One patient had bilateral turnours and one other patient had an ectopic tumour. The tumours were operated through transabdominal or lower transthoracic approach.

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eISSN: 2073-9990