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Clinical Note
November 15, 2010

Sarcoidosis Masquerading as Carotid Body Tumor

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Jalisi, Winter, and Elackattu) and Radiology (Dr Sakai), Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;136(11):1132-1135. doi:10.1001/archoto.2010.194

Sarcoidosis, which is a heterogeneous disease process of unknown etiology with varying presentations, may affect multisystem organs and have an unpredictable course. We report a rare case of sarcoidosis with 360° encasement of the distal left common carotid and proximal internal carotid arteries. Findings of a transcervical biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of sarcoidosis. In the absence of hemodynamic compromise of the patient's carotid artery, medical rather than surgical treatment was initiated. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a circumferential sarcoid lesion involving the common carotid artery. Vascular sarcoid lesions are rare, and treatment should depend on which vessel is involved and its function at the time of presentation. Masses involving the carotid artery should be approached with thoughtful presurgical planning.

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