Extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas, or paragangliomas, originate from neural crest chromaffin cells and can be found anywhere along the sympathetic chain from head to toe.A 34-year-old female presented 4 days postpartum with episodes of palpitations, hypertension, and shortness of breath. Two episodes in the emergency department confirmed hypertension and supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). A mediastinal mass was noted during workup for pulmonary embolus and was subsequently diagnosed as a cardiac paraganglioma. Our patient underwent surgical resection and was doing well 3 months postoperatively. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: This case represents a rare presentation of mediastinal paraganglioma with episodic SVT and hypertension postpartum, diagnosed during workup for pulmonary embolus. Although exceedingly rare, emergency physicians should consider paragangliomas in the differential of pregnant or postpartum women who present with episodic hypertension, palpitations, headache, and sweating.
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