A 60 year old hypertensive patient suffered several cerebral infarctions. A phaeochromocytoma was suspected because the excretion rates of vanillylmandelic acid and its methoxy derivatives were raised and the patient had hypertensive crises. No tumour was found, however, by 131mI-iodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy and computed tomography of the abdomen. Moreover, the enhanced orthostatic plasma catecholamine response suggested that the high excretion rates of catecholamine metabolites were more likely to be caused by the syndrome of raised catecholamines after cerebrovascular accidents than a phaeochromocytoma. A phaeochromocytoma should not be diagnosed within several months of cerebral infarction without first excluding the possibility of a hyperadrenergic state induced by cerebral infarction.
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