Paragangliomas are rare neuroendocrine tumors originating from chromaffin cells of extra-adrenal origin. Ninety percent of adrenergic tumors originate in the adrenal medulla and are known as pheochromocytomas; the remaining 10% are extra-adrenal and are called paragangliomas. Mediastinum paragangliomas is rare and commonly originate from the posterior mediastinum, while those originating from the middle posterior are quite rare. Some paragangliomas secrete catecholamines, leading to symptoms such as hypertension, tachycardia, and diabetes.
A 76-year-old woman visited our hospital for the treatment and further evaluation of diabetes. Her hemoglobin A1c levels had risen to 11.0%. To investigate the cause of her diabetes, a contrast-enhanced chest computed tomography scan was performed, revealing a ring-enhancing tumor (30 × 30 mm) in the middle mediastinum. The surgical resection was performed via video-assisted thoracic surgery. Surgery was performed using a vessel-sealing device; however, bleeding was persistent from the surrounding tissue. Total bleeding was 400 g. Blood pressure fluctuations and arrhythmia did not occur during the operation. The patient’s uncontrolled diabetes was cured after the surgery, and the tumor was diagnosed as a functional paraganglioma.
We encountered a rare case of functional paraganglioma located in the middle mediastinum. Functional paragangliomas should be considered as a potential cause of uncontrolled diabetes, and a whole-body CT scan should be performed to investigate this possible cause.