Carotid body tumor
Pulsatile mass in the neck
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Right carotid system demonstrating widening of the carotid bifurcation with an extremely hypervascular carotid body tumor.
Lyre sign: splaying of the external and internal carotid arteries by the carotid body tumor.
Biopsy is not available because the patient refuses. Nevertheless the imaging correspond to this type of tumor: homogenous, with subsequent posterior displacement of internal carotid and anterior displacement of the external carotid and high uptake of contrast medium.
Differential diagnoses could be: glomus jugulare tumor, arteriovenous malformations or hemangioma.
Carotid body are the most common paragangliomas of head and neck. Most of these tumors are benign with a small malignant potential. Although newer non-invasive diagnostic modalities have significantly enhanced the diagnostic compatibilities, controversy exists over adequate management of these rare tumors.
In younger, healthy patients with no comorbidities, the best therapeutic strategy is a complete excision of the tumor. However, in less than ideal patient population modalities such as radiation and tumor embolization can be considered.
Surgical advances have greatly decreased the mortality rates.
- Patlola, Raghotham; Ingraldi, Agostino; Walker, Craig; Allie, David; Khan, Ijaz A.. Published August 6, 2010. Volume 143, Issue 1. Pages e7-e10.