Introduction: Paragangliomas are usually benign tumors arising from chromaffin cells located outside the adrenal gland. Prostatic paraganglioma is an unusual entity in adult patients, with only 10 cases reported in the medical literature.
Case report: A 34-year-old male with a history of chronic prostatitis consulted for perineal pain. On digital rectal examination the prostate was enlarged and firm, without nodules. The PSA level was 0.8 ng/mL and the catecholamines in the urine were elevated. On ultrasound a retrovesical 9 cm mass of undetermined origin measuring was present. A PET-CT scan showed a pelvic lesion measuring 9 cm with moderate increase in glucidic metabolism localized in the area of the prostate. A biopsy of the prostate revealed a neuroendocrine tumor, possibly a prostatic paraganglioma. A body scintigraphy with MIBG I-123 ruled out the presence of metastases or multifocal tumor. A radical prostatectomy with excision of the pelvic mass was performed under adrenergic blockade. One year after surgery the patient is asymptomatic and disease free.
Discussion/conclusions: Prostatic paraganglioma is a rare, usually benign tumor, which should be considered in the differential diagnosis of prostate tumors in young males. Its diagnosis is based on the determination of catecholamine in blood and 24-hour urine and in imaging studies principally scintigraphy with MIBG I-123. Diagnostic confirmation is by histopathological study. The treatment consists of radical resection under adrenergic blockade and volume expansion. Given the limited number of cases reported, it is difficult to establish prognostic factors. Malignancy is defined by clinical criteria, and requires life long follow-up.
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