Exercise-induced nausea and vomiting: Another sign and symptom of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma

  • King K
  • Darmani N
  • Hughes M
 et al. 
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A cohort of nine patients, mostly young adults, presented with a new sign/symptom of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma: exercise-induced nausea and vomiting. The aims of this article are to introduce this sign/symptom and offer a possible hypothesis for the observation. Following a 2000 report from a paraganglioma patient experiencing exercise-induced nausea and vomiting, we began asking patients about instances of nausea and vomiting with exercise. A total of nine patients, 4.4% of our pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma population, presented with reports of exercise-induced nausea and vomiting, initially with moderate-to-intense levels of exercise, at the first presentation of their disease. All of these patients reported a cessation of exercise-induced nausea and vomiting following the removal of their primary tumor. Two patients with metastatic disease to the lungs reported a recurrence of exercise-induced nausea and vomiting. The majority of patients studied were young adults with mean onset age of 19.4 years (range of 9-51 years) and the mean age of diagnosis being 24.1 years (range of 11-53 years). Exercise-induced nausea and vomiting should be considered a sign/symptom of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and should be addressed in the clinical evaluation of these patients, especially in young adults. Whether exercise-induced elevated catecholamine levels could account for the induced nausea and vomiting via activation of adrenergic receptors in the area postrema remains to be established.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Catecholamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Nausea
  • Norepinephrine
  • Paraganglioma
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Vomiting

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