Carotid Body Tumors and Our Surgical Approaches

Sanli A., Oz K., Ayduran E., Aydin S., Altin G., Eken M.

INDIAN JOURNAL OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY AND HEAD & NECK SURGERY, vol.64, no.2, pp.158-161, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Glomus tumors known as paragangliomas are neoplasms arising from the neural crest. They are named according to the place they originate from. Tumors originating from the carotid body at the carotid bifurcation are called Carotid Body Tumors (CBT). Surgical intervention is planned according to the Shamblin classification. 17 patients were operated after being diagnosed with CBT in our clinic between February 2007 and June 2010. 12 (70.5%) of the patients were male, and 5 (29.4%) of the patients were female. The average age was 42 (ages ranging between 32 and 47). Nine of the patients were diagnosed and treated with Shamblin type I tumor, seven of the patients with type II and one patient with type III. Only one patient had bilateral carotid tumor. In all patients with Shamblin type I and II, blunt dissection of the tumor was conducted smoothly by means of thermal cautery in the subadventitial plane. The patient with Shamblin type III had tumor invasion in the carotid artery and adjacent tissues were in an adherent state. Therefore mass resection was carried out by resecting 2 cm of the distal portion of the common carotid artery and 3 cm of the proximal portion of the internal carotid artery. 6 mm of synthetic polytetrafluoroethylene graft was interpositioned between the common carotid artery and the internal carotid artery. External carotid artery was anastomosed to this graft in an end-to-end fashion. The patient developed vocal cord paralysis postoperatively on the lesion side. The patient who underwent bilateral tumor excision developed Baroreflex Failure Syndrome. In the two patients thrombus developed in the internal carotid artery in the early postoperative period. These patients underwent thrombectomy and developed hemiplegia on the lesion side. One of them died on the seventh post-operative day while in follow-up in the intensive care unit. Surgical resection is the recommended treatment for carotid body tumors. Shamblin I and II type tumors' dimensions and pathological characteristics allow dissection. However Shamblin III tumors may require carotid artery resection and reconstruction due to tissue invasion. The possibility of post-operative cranial nerve paralysis and arterial thrombosis should be taken into account.