2003, Number 4
An Med Asoc Med Hosp ABC 2003; 48 (4)
Mondragón-Sánchez A, Montoya RG, Shuchleib-Chaba S
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ABSTRACTCarotid body tumors are rare lesions, also known as paragangliomas due to their origin from extra-adrenal paraganglionic tissue. They are frequently observed in patients living in high altitudes. Sporadic or familial cases are seen and they can be associated to paragangliomas in other anatomic locations. Their clinical presentation is as an asymptomatic palpable neck mass at the level of the angle of the jaw. Diagnosis is made with carotid angiography, nevertheless recent advances in tomography, magnetic angioresonance and color doppler ultrasonography have made the diagnosis easier. The great majority of these tumors are benign, malignancy is determined by locoregional invasion, lymphatic or distant metastases and recurrence. We discuss the case of a 52 year old female with a 5 cm carotid body tumor treated surgically. Thanks to recent advances the diagnosis of these tumor can be made easily, less invasive. Surgical resection can be done safely and with minimal morbidity.