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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
August 17, 2009

Pathology Quiz Case 2: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations
 

JULIA CIEZZONIMD

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;135(8):835. doi:10.1001/archoto.2009.83-b

In the medical literature, the term glomus tumoris used to describe 2 distinct and unrelated neoplasms: one is composed of modified smooth muscle cells called glomus cells; the other, which is also called paraganglioma, arises from widely distributed paraganglionic tissue that is thought to originate from the neural crest. Herein, glomus tumorwill be used to refer to the former neoplasm, and paragangliomawill be used to refer to the latter.

Glomus tumors are uncommon neoplasms that are composed of cells that resemble the modified smooth muscle cells of the normal glomus body. They are thought to arise from the arterial portion of the glomus body, which is an arteriovenous shunt in the dermis that contributes to temperature regulation, and usually occur within the skin, most commonly in the subungual area. Several reports have documented their occurrence in locations other than skin, including the stomach, rectum, and lung.1The trachea is an uncommon site for this tumor, with fewer than 20 cases reported in the literature and only 1 case of the oncocytic variant found in this specific location.2,3We describe the second case (to our knowledge) of the oncocytic variant of glomus tumor of the trachea and the first to occur within the cervical trachea.

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