Acute Myocardial Infarction Secondary to Catecholamine Release Owing to Cocaine Abuse and Pheochromocytoma Crisis


Efren Martinez-Quintana 1 , * , Ricardo Jaimes-Vivas 1 , Javiel Cuba-Herrera 1 , Beatriz Saiz-Udaeta 1 , Fayna Rodrguez-Gonzalez 2 , Maria Soledad Martinez-Martin 3

1 Cardiology Service, Insular-Materno Infantil University Hospital,, Spain

2 Ophtalmology Service, Dr. Negrin University Hospital of Gran Canaria, Spain

3 Anatomopathology Service, Insular-Materno Infantil University Hospital, Spain

How to Cite: Martinez-Quintana E, Jaimes-Vivas R, Cuba-Herrera J, Saiz-Udaeta B, Rodrguez-Gonzalez F, et al. Acute Myocardial Infarction Secondary to Catecholamine Release Owing to Cocaine Abuse and Pheochromocytoma Crisis, Int J Endocrinol Metab. Online ahead of Print ; 11(1):48-51. doi: 10.5812/ijem.6562.


International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism: 11 (1); 48-51
Published Online: December 21, 2012
Article Type: Case Report
Received: May 29, 2012
Accepted: June 30, 2012




Abstract: Most pheochromocytomas are not suspected clinically while a high percentage of them are curable with surgery. We present the case of an adult cocaine-addicted male patient with an underlying pheochromocytoma and repeated myocardial infarctions. Computed tomography showed a left round adrenal mass, also high 24-hour urine levels of catecholamines and metanephrines were detected from urinalysis. The patient was given alpha and beta blockers, moreover a laparoscopic left adrenalectomy was performed. Cocaine can block the reuptake of noradrenaline, leading to increasing its concentration and consequently its effects as well, and induce local or diffuse coronary vasoconstriction in normal coronary artery segments per se, cocaine can also trigger pheochromocytoma crisis, and therefore, cardiac complications such as myocardial infarction due to these additive effects are intended to occur. For this reason, in the presence of typical clinical manifestations of pheochromocytoma, such as sustained or paroxysmal hypertension, headache, sweating, tachycardia and abdominal pain, probable association of this tumor in patients with cocaine abuse and associated cardiac complications must be ruled out.


Pheochromocytoma Cocaine Myocardial Infarction

© 2012, International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

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