The incidence, symptoms, signs and differential diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma have been discussed in detail. Current methods of biochemical diagnosis and anatomical localization of the tumour have been reviewed, the appropriate pharmacotherapy and other aspects of medical management have been outlined. Also detailed herein are anaesthetic management and surgical approach, the pitfalls of drug administration in known or suspected phaeochromocytoma, and particular considerations when phaeochromocytoma is malignant or when it coexists with pregnancy. Three decades ago, the diagnosis and management of phaeochromocytoma was succinctly summarized as follows: 'think of it, confirm it, find it and remove it' (Manger and Gifford, 1977; Ross, 1962). Despite the availability of sophisticated diagnostic tests and the significant progress in management, where phaeochromocytoma is concerned, a high index of suspicion ('thinking of it') remains the physician's most valuable tool.
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