Carotid body tumor

Case contributed by Dr Marlon Garcia H


Pulsatile mass in the neck

Patient Data

Age: 50

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.

Case Discussion

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.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 34477
Published: 17th Mar 2015
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.