Retroperitoneal extra-adrenal paraganglioma: a rare but important diagnosis

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Abstract

Background

Extra-adrenal paragangliomas of the retroperitonium are infrequently diagnosed. Their malignant behaviour cannot be predicted on initial clinical and histological assessment. These tumours have higher propensity for subsequent metastasis compared with pargangliomas at other sites.

Aim

We aim to describe a case report of an incidental finding of left retroperitoneal paraganglioma in a young man who presented with right flank pain. We also aim to emphasize the importance of diagnosis and the malignant potential of these tumours.

Method

Patient's clinical notes, operative findings, imaging studies and laboratory investigations including histology results were reviewed. A literature search was done to look into the incidence, presentation, follow-up plan and treatment options for these tumours.

Conclusion

Surgical resection is the only available curative option for extra-adrenal paragangliomas. Metastasis is observed years after surgery, hence long-term follow-up is required.

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