Our experience with carotid body paragangliomas

Prague Med Rep. 2012;113(4):262-70. doi: 10.14712/23362936.2015.9.


Carotid body paragangliomas (CBP) are rare neoplasms arising from the small chemoreceptor organ in the adventitia of the common carotid bifurcation. The aim of this study is to present the diagnostic process, performed treatment and obtained results in patients with carotid body paragangliomas of the Department of Otolaryngology of Istanbul Education and Research Hospital between March 1997 and November 2008. Retrospective analysis was carried out, based on the medical documentation of 5 patients with carotid body paragangliomas (3 women and 2 men), age range 44 to 68 years with a mean of 59.6 years. Four of the patients were diagnosed and treated with Shamblin type II tumor, one of the patients with type I. Physical examination, radiological evaluation, method of the treatment and post-treatment complications were studied. The most common and single symptom was nonspecific neck mass. Preoperative diagnostic evaluation consisted of a color duplex ultrasonography, computerized tomography with contrast enhancement, magnetic resonance imaging and digital subtraction angiography. In all patients with Shamblin type I and II, blunt dissection of the tumor was conducted smoothly in the subadventitial plane. Postoperative vagus nerve and hypoglossal nerve deficit were reported in one case. Carotid body paraganglioma excision has higher risk of cranial nerve paresis and carotid artery injury, so it requires careful handling and good surgical skills to ensure complete removal.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carotid Body Tumor* / diagnosis
  • Carotid Body Tumor* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged