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NBME 20 Answers

nbme20/Block 2/Question#50

A 27-year-old woman comes to the physician because ...

Pheochromocytoma

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submitted by meningitis(160),

When standing up, the body normally activates sympathetic system to avoid orthostatic hypotension.

But since there is now an additive effect of the pheochromocytoma adrenergics, it will lead to a hypertension

(i.e: Double vasoconstriction = Pheo adrenergics + Sympathetic system)

sympathetikey  Brilliant. +1  
medschul  Would pheo have a normal resting BP though? +  
meningitis  I was trying to justify these tricky questions but very true medschul.. It shouldn't have normal resting BP. Sometimes it seems these NBME always have a trick up their sleeve. Im getting paranoid lol +  
nala_ula  The reason why the patient probably has normal HTN is because Pheochromocytoma has symptoms that occurs in "spells" - they come and go. Apparently in that moment, when the physician is examining her, she doesn't have the HTN, but like @meningitis explained, so many adrenergic hormones around leads to double the vasoconstriction when the patient stands up. +5  
meningitis  Thank you @nala_ula for your contribution! Really filled in the gap Iwas missing. +1  
nala_ula  No problem! Thank you for all your contributions throughout this page! +1  
mjmejora  I thought the pheochromocytoma was getting squeezed during sitting and releasing the epinephrine then. kinda like how it can happen during manipulation during surgery. Got it right for sorta wrong reasons then oh well. +