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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
March 2006

Radiology Quiz Case 2: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;132(3):345-346. doi:10.1001/archotol.132.3.345

The definition and classification of glomus tumors of the head and neck have evolved since 1762, when they were described as a mass at the carotid bifurcation that had a glomuslike structure. In 1950, Mulligan1 called this type of neoplasm a chemodectoma to better reflect its derivation from neural crest cells and chemoreceptor cells. Because of the ability of these cells to produce catecholamines, chemodectomas can be described as chromaffin or nonchromaffin positive. In 1974, the glomus tumor was renamed paraganglionoma based on its anatomical and physiological characteristics. Current terminology of these tumors is often mixed, with glomus tumor being the most common designation in the literature.2

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