pheochromocytoma

noun

pheo·​chro·​mo·​cy·​to·​ma ˌfē-ə-ˌkrō-mə-sə-ˈtō-mə How to pronounce pheochromocytoma (audio)
-sī-
plural pheochromocytomas also pheochromocytomata ˌfē-ə-ˌkrō-mə-sə-ˈtō-mə-tə How to pronounce pheochromocytoma (audio)
-sī-
: a tumor that is derived from chromaffin cells and is usually associated with paroxysmal or sustained hypertension
Pheochromocytoma is a rare cause of hypertensive crisis. The hypertension may be either sustained or paroxysmal, with episodes of headache, diaphoresis, palpitations, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.David A. Calhoun et al.

called also pheo

Examples of pheochromocytoma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Could this be a pheochromocytoma — a usually benign tumor that causes the adrenal glands to produce too much of the fight-or-flight hormones? Lisa Sanders, M.d., New York Times, 9 Mar. 2023 People with symptomatic pheochromocytoma always have high blood pressure, usually very high at the time of the flushing. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 10 Jan. 2022 Carcinoid tumors and pheochromocytoma are tumors that affect blood pressure. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 10 Jan. 2022 The vast majority of people who experience a racing heart and debilitating headaches don’t actually have a pheochromocytoma. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2019 The most likely cause of that result was a rare tumor called a pheochromocytoma. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2019 The rare cancer in question is called pheochromocytoma. Madeline McGee, Anchorage Daily News, 15 July 2019 Lisa Sanders’s pheochromocytoma case study made me weep. New York Times, 23 June 2017 Donations in memory of Jessica Lum may be made to find a cure for pheochromocytoma. Pete Brook, WIRED, 17 July 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pheochromocytoma.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Phäochromocytom, from Phäochromocyte "chromaffin cell" (from phäochrom "chromaffin" —from Greek phaiós "a shade between black and white, gray, dark gray" [of obscure origin] + German -chrom -chrome— + -o- -o- + -cyte -cyte) + -om -oma

Note: The term was introduced by the German pathologist Ludwig Pick (1868-1944) in "Das Ganglioma embryonale sympathicum (Sympathoma embrionale)," Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 49. Jahrgang, Nr. 1 (January 1, 1912), p. 21/2. Pick paraphrases phäochrom as chrombraun, suggesting that phäo- is taken to mean braun "brown." This somewhat misleading reading of the Greek word goes back to the original use of phäochrom, by the anatomist Heinrich Poll, in an account of the developmental history of the adrenal glands in vertebrates ("Die vergleichende Entwickelungsgeschichte der Nebennierensysteme der Wirbeltiere," chapter two, part two of Handbuch der vergleichenden und experimentellen Entwickelungslehre der Wirbeltiere, edited by Oskar Hertwig, 3. Band, 1. Teil, p. 444). In discussing cells from the medulla of the adrenal glands, which turn a bright yellow to dark brown when treated with chromium salts ("eine intensive hellgelbe bis dunkelbraune Färbung"), Poll says the following: "Diese Eigenschaft entdeckte Jakob Henle im Jahre 1865, Stilling (1890) nannte die Zellen chromophil, Kohn (1898) neuerdings chromaffin: eindeutig und einsprachig können sie als phäochrome [footnote: "von φαιός = braun, und dem Namen des Elements „Chrom".], deutsch etwa als chrombraune Zellen bezeichnet werden." ("This property was discovered by Jakob Henle in 1865, Stilling (1890) named the cells chromophil, Kohn (1898) more recently chromaffin: the cells can be designated unambiguously and using a single language [i.e., Greek] as pheochrome [footnote: "from phaiós = brown, and the name of the element chromium"], in German approximately as chrome-brown.") Though "braun" is given as a possible translation of Greek phaiós in, for example, Franz Passow's widely used Handwörterbuch der griechischen Sprache (5th edition, 1857), the fuller characterization is "schummrig, dämmerig, zwischen Licht und Dunkel, daher von jeder Farbe zwischen schwarz und weiss, schwärzlich, schwarzgrau, grau, braun" ("dusky, twilight, between light and dark, hence of every color between black and white, blackish, gray-black, gray, brown").

First Known Use

1920, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pheochromocytoma was in 1920

Dictionary Entries Near pheochromocytoma

Cite this Entry

“Pheochromocytoma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pheochromocytoma. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

pheochromocytoma

noun
pheo·​chro·​mo·​cy·​to·​ma
variants or British phaeochromocytoma
plural pheochromocytomas also pheochromocytomata -mət-ə How to pronounce pheochromocytoma (audio)
: a tumor that is derived from chromaffin cells and is usually associated with paroxysmal or sustained hypertension
Pheochromocytoma is a rare cause of hypertensive crisis. The hypertension may be either sustained or paroxysmal, with episodes of headache, diaphoresis, palpitations, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.David A. Calhoun et al.

called also pheo

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