Since Marchand first described a new growth arising from the carotid body in 1891, over 600 carotid body tumors and 300 glomus jugulare neoplasms have been reported in the literature.1-3 Despite their relative infrequency, these lesions have created considerable controversy over pathologic classification, biologic behavior, diagnosis, and treatment.
Two recent cases of atypically located carotid body tumors presenting as posterior pharyngeal masses, and recent evidence that suggests that a proper classification of tumors of chemoreceptor tissue awaits additional knowledge of tumor hormone metabolism, has prompted a review of the current concepts of the behavior, diagnosis, and management of cervical paragangliomata.4 Twenty-one patients with cervical chemodectomas have been treated at the University of Kansas Medical Center since 1958, and form the basis of this report.
Anatomy and Embryology
The carotid body is an ovoid structure located near the carotid bifurcation that contains the largest collection of chemoreceptor tissue in
Salyer KE, Ketchum LD, Robinson DW, Masters FW. Surgical Management of Cervical Paragangliomata. Arch Surg. 1969;98(5):572–578. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340110064004
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