Increased plasma atrial natriuretic factor in catecholamine-producing tumor patients

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Clinical and Experimental Hypertension








Atrial natriuretic factor; Catecholamines; Neuroblastoma; Pheochromocytoma


The aim of this study was to evaluate plasma levels of ANF in patients with catecholamine-secreting tumors with and without hypertension and to relate ANF secretion to levels of plasma and urinary catecholamines and blood pressure. Twenty-one pheochromocytoma (15 with sustained, 6 with paroxysmal hypertension), 6 neuroblastoma (1 hypertensive) patients and 28 aged-matched controls were studied in basal conditions. Plasma and urinary norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E), dopamine (DA) and DOPA were determined by HPLC-ED and plasma ANF by RIA. Both neuroblastoma and pheochromocytoma patients had significantly higher plasma ANF levels than controls. Neuroblastomas showed higher ANF concentration than pheochromocytomas. No differences were found in plasma ANF between hypertensive and normotensive patients. Pheochromocytomas with ANF levels within the normal range had plasma and urinary NE and urinary DA and DOPA levels significantly higher than patients with high ANF. Plasma ANF levels were unrelated to systolic or diastolic blood pressure or heart rate. A negative correlation between plasma ANF and urinary DA was found only in the patients groups. In conclusion, plasma ANF was increased in pheochromocytoma and neuroblastoma patients. Our data suggest that the excessive catecholamine secretion is not responsible for the increased ANF secretion in these patients. The significance of the relationships among plasma ANF and urinary and plasma catecholamines requires further investigation.