Introduction and importance: Pheochromocytomas arise from the adrenal medulla and are rare. Pheochromocytomas metastasize to bone, lung and liver, and surgery might be the curative treatment. However, few cases are detected when they are resectable lesions because of difficulty in diagnosis and rapid growth. We herein report a patient who underwent resection of liver metastasis and local recurrence of pheochromocytoma. Case presentation: A 74-year-old woman visited our hospital for treatment for liver and retroperitoneal tumors. She had undergone left adrenal gland resection for pheochromocytoma 16 years earlier. Eleven years after primary surgery, breast cancer was diagnosed and resected. During the breast cancer follow-up, a liver tumor was identified with computed tomography. Breast cancer recurrence and metastasis were considered, so chemotherapy was administered first. However, the liver tumor gradually enlarged, and another lesion appeared in the retroperitoneum. The tumors were diagnosed as pheochromocytoma recurrence using 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy, and she underwent resection of the local recurrence and liver metastasis. She was discharged on postoperative day 25 without complications, and no evidence of recurrence occurred more than 3.5 years postoperatively. Clinical discussion: All pheochromocytomas have metastatic potential; however, there are no reliable markers to predict malignancy. Early detection of recurrence by regular imaging and complete resection are important in the treatment. If the recurrence was oligometastasis and tumor growth is slow, surgical resection may be eligible. Conclusion: A favorable outcome resulted from complete resection for liver metastasis and local recurrence of pheochromocytoma.
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