Pheochromocytoma: a cause of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, transient left ventricular dysfunction, and takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
To report the case of a patient with a pheochromocytoma and apical left ventricular dysfunction that resolved after surgical resection of the pheochromocytoma, to review the effects of catecholamines on myocyte function and the concept that takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) is caused by excess catecholamines, and to illustrate the difficulty in the management of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) during a hypertensive crisis attributable to a pheochromocytoma.We present the clinical history, physical findings, laboratory results, and imaging studies in a 60-year-old man with an ACS, TC, and an incidentaloma later diagnosed to be a pheochromocytoma. The association with TC and the pertinent literature are reviewed.A 60-year-old man was suspected of having myocardial ischemia on the basis of symptoms of paroxysmal chest pain extending to the left shoulder, diaphoresis, ST-segment elevation on an electrocardiogram, and elevated serial levels of cardiac enzymes. Coronary angiography did not reveal substantial coronary artery obstruction but detected ballooning of the apical, anterior, and inferior cardiac walls, consistent with TC. He had a history of labile hypertension and palpitations of 3 months' duration. An adrenal mass detected on a prior computed tomographic scan and increased 24-hour urine catecholamine levels were consistent with a pheochromocytoma. Treatment with phenoxybenzamine was initiated, and he underwent a right adrenalectomy, which confirmed that the tumor was a pheochromocytoma and dramatically improved the patient's condition.Pheochromocytomas manifest with labile blood pressures and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of ACS. This case also supports the concept that TC is caused by excess catecholamines.