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Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Overview

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Pheochromocytomas (often abbreviated as pheo) and paragangliomas (often abbreviated as para) are rare types of tumors. Pheochromocytomas form in the adrenal glands, while closely related paragangliomas originate from cells of neuronal origin, which can be located throughout the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis. These tumors can produce hormones that control normal body stress reaction and other functions, including heart rate and blood pressure.

The NICHD supports and conducts research on pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma to understand the causes of the disease, improve the detection methods, and develop effective therapies.

On this webpage, the term pheochromocytoma also refers to paraganglioma unless otherwise specified. 

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Common Name

  • Pheochromocytoma (pronounced fee-oh-kroh-moh-sigh-TOH-muh)
  • Paraganglioma (pronounced pair-uh-gang-lee-OH-muh)
Last Updated Date: 03/06/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 07/29/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology