TUMORS of neural crest origin were generally held to be nonfunctional until 1952 when Hawfield and Daisley1 noted their association with diarrhea. In 1957, Mason and co-authors2 reported elevated urine catecholamine excretion in a patient with neuroblastoma. Rosenstein and Ingleman3 reviewed 18 reported cases of neural crest tumors associated with diarrhea, and Sindhu and Anderson4 reported an additional case in 1965.
When associated with diarrhea in children, these tumors usually present as cases of failure to thrive. They are also frequently associated with episodes of hypertension and flushing. In all patients with the symptom of diarrhea, the urinary excretion of vanylmandelic acid (VMA) when measured, was elevated whether the tumor was benign or malignant. This paper reports the case of a child that manifested only chronic diarrhea and failure to thrive, who had no increase in measured VMA excretion nor radiologic or physical evidence of neurogenic