Seven of 28 patients had well-established recurrent disease following a primary operation for control of pheochromocytoma. Two of these recurrences were in 23 patients whose primary operation had been performed by us. The other five were referred to us with recurrent pheochromocytoma.
A broad range of pathologic entities is represented in these patients. One patient had an asymptomatic biochemical recurrence of disease and one multiple benign primary pheochromocytoma. A third had a local recurrence with negative lymph nodes and a fourth focal lymph node recurrences. Long-term resolution of disease has occurred in three of these patients following another exploratory operation.
Three patients had disseminated disease, one had abdominal recurrences, and two had miliary pulmonary disease that escaped pre-operative detection on conventional posteroanterior roentgenographic views of the chest. The latter two patients died after fruitless surgical exploration and represent the only deaths in our series.