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Sofia Maria Lider Burciulescu CI Parhon National Institute of Endocrinology, Bucharest, Romania

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Caren Randon Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Ghent University Hospital & Department of Human Structure and Repair, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent, Ghent, Belgium

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Frederic Duprez Department of Radiotherapy-Oncology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent Belgium & Department of Human Structure and Repair, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent, Ghent, Belgium

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Wouter Huvenne Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Ghent University Hospital & Department of Head & Skin, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent, Ghent, Belgium

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David Creytens Department of Pathology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent University & Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent, Ghent, Belgium

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Kathleen B M Claes Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital & Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent, Ghent, Belgium

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Robin de Putter Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital & Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent, Ghent, Belgium

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Guy T’Sjoen Department of Endocrinology, Ghent University Hospital & Department of Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent , Ghent, Belgium

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Corin Badiu CI Parhon National Institute of Endocrinology, Bucharest, Romania
Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania

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Bruno Lapauw Department of Endocrinology, Ghent University Hospital & Department of Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent , Ghent, Belgium

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Pheochromocytomas (PHEO) and paragangliomas (PGL) can occur sporadic or within genetic predisposition syndromes. Despite shared embryology, there are important differences between PHEO and PGL. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical presentation and disease characteristics of PHEO/PGL. A retrospective analysis of consecutively registered patients diagnosed with or treated for PHEO/PGL in a tertiary care centre was performed. Patients were compared according to anatomic location (PHEO vs PGL) and genetic status (sporadic vs hereditary). In total, we identified 38 women and 29 men, aged 50 ± 19 years. Of these, 42 (63%) had PHEO, and 25 (37%) had PGL. Patients with PHEO presented more frequently with sporadic than hereditary disease (45 years vs 27 (77%) vs 8 (23%)) than patients with PGL (9 (36%) vs 16 (64%), respectively) and were older at diagnosis (55 ± 17 vs 40 ± 18 years, P = 0.001), respectively). About half of the cases in both PHEO and PGL were diagnosed due to disease-related symptoms. In patients with PHEO, tumour diameter was larger (P = 0.001), metanephrine levels higher (P = 0.02), and there was more frequently a history of cardiovascular events than in patients with PGL. In conclusion, we found that patients with PGL more frequently have a hereditary predisposition than those with PHEO, contributing to the fact that diagnosis is generally made earlier in PGL. Although diagnosis in both PHEO and PGL was mostly due to related symptoms, patients with PHEO more often presented with cardiovascular comorbidities than those with PGL which might relate to a higher number of functionally active tumours in the former.

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