RATIONALE: Paraganglioma (PGL), an extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma, is a rare tumor, especially in children. While hypersecretion of catecholamines causes the classic triad of headaches, palpitations, and profuse sweating, prompt diagnosis is still challenging. PATIENT CONCERNS: For 7 months, an 8-year-old boy complained of polyuria and weight loss, followed by proteinuria and headache for 1 month prior to admission. He was admitted to our hospital due to an afebrile seizure. DIAGNOSIS: His blood pressure remained markedly elevated even after cessation of the convulsion. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome. Abdominal computed tomography showed a mass lesion encasing the left renal artery, measuring 41 mm in length along its major axis. The plasma and urine levels of normetanephrine were elevated. Additionally, iodine-123-metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy showed an abnormal uptake in the abdominal mass with no evidence of metastasis. Based on these findings, we tentatively diagnosed him with PGL. INTERVENTION: Substantial alpha- and beta-blocking procedures were performed, followed by a tumor resection and an extended left nephrectomy on day 31 of hospitalization. Pathological findings confirmed the diagnosis of PGL. OUTCOME: The postoperative course was uneventful, and his blood pressure normalized without the use of antihypertensive agents. Genetic testing revealed a known SDHB germline mutation. The same mutation was also detected on his father and paternal grandfather without any history of hypertension or malignant tumor. LESSON: It remains challenging to diagnose pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PPGL) promptly because PPGL can present with a variety of symptoms. Preceding symptoms of the presented case might be caused by PGL. Although PPGL is a rare disease, especially in children, it should be considered in differential diagnosis when various unexplained symptoms persist.
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