Definition of phaeochromocytoma in English:



  • A small vascular tumour of the adrenal medulla, causing irregular secretion of adrenalin and noradrenaline leading to attacks of raised blood pressure, palpitations, and headache.

    • ‘He improved the way in which patients with phaeochromocytoma were prepared for surgery by characterising the way in which these tumours released their hormones.’
    • ‘Increased metabolic rate is rarely the main cause, except with an overactive thyroid or phaeochromocytoma, a rare tumour which produces excess adrenaline to stimulate our brown adipose tissue.’
    • ‘Histology, however, showed a large adenoma of the adrenal cortex; a phaeochromocytoma could not be detected.’
    • ‘Phaeochromocytomas are rare, can be managed with minimal morbidity if recognized early.’
    • ‘To exclude the possibility of phaeochromocytoma, case 1 underwent computed tomography and cases 3 and 4 underwent isotopic imaging.’


1920s: from phaeochrome (another term for chromaffin), from Greek phaios ‘dusky’ + khrōma ‘colour’, + -cyte.