Nonchromaffin paragangliomas associated with the aortic bodies and located in the mediastinum are extremely rare. Lattes described the first case of human aortic body tumor in 1950.10 Since that time a total of eight cases have been reported. The present case will be the ninth, and the first reported in a child.
The aortic bodies are only one of a group of structures which have a similar histological appearance and apparently similar physiological function. The best known of these is the carotid body, which was first recognized and described by von Haller in 1743.5 Carotid body tumors were first reported by Marchand in 1891,12 and have been the most commonly reported of the nonchromaffin paragangliomas.
The carotid bodies are located at the bifurcation of the common carotid arteries. Other structures of this group of organs are the glomus jugulare, located at the floor of the middle ear,