What is a paraganglioma?

Paragangliomas are noncancerous tumors of the peripheral nervous system (the nerves that are not part of the brain and spinal cord). They can occur in any nerve and often near a major artery. The most common site paragangliomas develop is in the abdomen where approximately 85-90% are located. Sometimes paragangliomas release hormones like noradrenaline or adrenaline that cause a high blood pressure, hot flashes, racing heartbeat, and headaches, other times they do not. Most of the time paragangliomas occur as sporadic tumors, that is, they are not inherited. Paragangliomas may also be surgically removed if they are secreting hormones, causing a health problem such making it difficult to breathe, or have become cancerous. Paragangliomas can occur as a isolated finding or part of a genetic conditions such as multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 2, von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, or Neurofibromatosis type 1.

SOURCE: Emory University - Department of Human Genetics in collaboration with ThinkGenetic • • DATE UPDATED: 2019-11-28


(2011). Nonsyndrome paragangliomas. Genetic Home Reference. Retrieved on February 19, 2019 from

Chetty R. Familial paraganglioma syndromes. J Clin Pathol. 2010 Jun;63(6):488-91. doi: 10.1136/jcp.2010.076257.

Else, T., Greenberg, S., & Fishbein, L. (2008). Hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma syndromes. Gene Reviews. Retrieved on February 19, 2019 from Accessed 28NOV19.

The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons Patient Education Site, Paraganglioma (adrenaline-producing tumor outside the adrenal gland), Accessed 28NOV19.

This content comes from a hidden element on this page.

The inline option preserves bound JavaScript events and changes, and it puts the content back where it came from when it is closed.

Remember Me