Glomus tumors of the head and neck: thirteen years' institutional experience and management

Acta Otolaryngol. 2019 Oct;139(10):930-933. doi: 10.1080/00016489.2019.1655588. Epub 2019 Aug 27.


Background: Head and neck paragangliomas are slowly growing benign tumors and they originate from specialized neural crest cells. Aims/objectives: This study aimed to express the safety of paraganglioma surgery regarding complications, treatment, and outcomes of patients with head and neck glomus tumors. Materials and methods: Medical records of patients who were operated because of head and neck paraganglioma between 2006 and 2016 were reviewed. Results: The study group consisted of 49 patients (M/F: 6/43). The patients were distributed as follows: 22 glomus caroticum (GC) (44.8%), 8 glomus jugulare (GJ) (16.3%), 10 glomus tympanicum (GT) (20.4%), 4 glomus vagale (GV) (8.1%), 2 GC + GV (4%), 2 bilateral GC (4%) and 1 thyroidal glomus tumor (2%). All GC and GV tumors were resected via cervical approach. Three of GJ tumors were resected through transmastoid approach while five of them were resected through both transmastoid and cervical approach. Nine GT tumors were resected via transmastoid approach. One patient received cyberknife. Thyroid paraganglioma was diagnosed incidentally after total thyroidectomy. Mean follow-up period was 61.92 ± 35.11 months (1-124 m). Conclusions and significance: The choice of treatment depends on the size, location and biologic activity of tumor as well as the physical condition of the patient. Our results show that glomus tumors can be resected with low mortality and morbidity rates due to developing imaging and microsurgical methods.

Keywords: Glomus tumors; complication; head and neck surgery; paraganglioma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Glomus Tumor / complications
  • Glomus Tumor / diagnosis*
  • Glomus Tumor / surgery*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / complications
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome