Coil embolization and surgical removal of carotid body paraganglioma

J Craniofac Surg. 2013 May;24(3):e242-5. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31828607ef.


Carotid body paraganglioma has considerable malignant potential and locally aggressive behavior, so it should be treated as soon as it is discovered.We report the case of 60-year-old male patient with a carotid body paraganglioma (Shamblin group II) that was causing the carotid arteries to spread. Angiography showed 1 dominant feeding artery arising from the right external carotid artery. Selective angiography was performed 2 days before surgical removal of the tumor, and the feeding artery was successfully embolized with coils.Literature review reveals previous reports where preoperative embolization of the feeding arteries was done using ethanol, polymers, or other liquid agents. In our case, angiography (via femoral artery) was performed 2 days before surgical removal of the tumor, and the main feeding artery (a single branch arising from external carotid artery) was successfully embolized with coils rather than liquids.Performing coil embolization before operating reduced subsequent blood loss and made it easier to identify the feeding artery during surgery. Supraselective coiling, although as difficult as embolization with liquids, may reduce the incidence of postoperative stroke. At 1 year after surgery, the patient had no signs of tumor recurrence.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy
  • Carotid Artery, Common / surgery
  • Carotid Artery, External / surgery
  • Carotid Body Tumor / surgery*
  • Carotid Body Tumor / therapy
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Chromogranin A / analysis
  • Cytoplasm / pathology
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • S100 Proteins / analysis
  • Synaptophysin / analysis


  • Chromogranin A
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • S100 Proteins
  • Synaptophysin