Persistent stapedial artery supplying a glomus tympanicum tumor

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990 Jul;116(7):852-4. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1990.01870070100019.


Vascular anomalies of the middle ear are extremely rare. The most common anomaly is a persistent stapedial artery. This artery is important clinically because of the risk of profuse bleeding during middle ear surgery. We describe a 26-year-old woman with a glomus tympanicum tumor. The blood supply to the tumor was from a persistent stapedial artery. A preoperative angiogram supported this finding by demonstrating a small vessel originating from the anterior branch of the middle meningeal artery as the major vascular supply to the tumor. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of a glomus tympanicum tumor vascularized by a persistent stapedial artery that was suggested by angiography and confirmed intraoperatively. To better understand this anomaly, we review the embryological development of the stapedial artery and discuss its clinical significance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Arteries / abnormalities*
  • Ear Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Ear Neoplasms / surgery
  • Ear, Middle / blood supply*
  • Ear, Middle / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans