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Classification according to ICD-10
D44.7 Glomus aorticum and other paraganglia
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)
Photomicrograph of a paraganglioma. HE staining .

A paraganglioma ( syn. Chemodectoma , chromaffin tumor ) is a mostly benign, neuroendocrine tumor that arises from an autonomous ganglion ( paraganglion ). The origin can be both the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system. Depending on the location, 10 to 40% of paragangliomas are malignant and can lead to tumor settlements ( metastases ). There are no reliable criteria that can predict malignant behavior. There is a familial accumulation, as the paraganglioma follows an autosomal dominant inheritance with maternal (maternal) imprinting .


Depending on the ganglion affected, a distinction is made:


Symptoms of a paraganglioma emanating from the glomus tympanicum can include unilateral hearing loss or deafness and a pulse-synchronous ear noise. Late symptoms are bleeding from the affected ear and, if the tumor extends into the posterior and middle cranial fossa, paresis of the cranial nerves VII ( facial nerve ), IX ( glossopharyngeal nerve ), X ( vagus nerve ), XI ( accessory nerve ) and XII ( hypoglossal nerve ) .


In magnetic resonance imaging with T2 weighting, the tumors are predominantly hyperintense to the spinal cord and other surrounding organ structures.

In terms of nuclear medicine , a whole-body display is possible with an 18F Dopa- PET (positron emission tomography) with very high sensitivity.

Macroscopically, they are predominantly round-oval, red-brown encapsulated structures that occasionally infiltrate the bone. Histopathologically, they consist of balls of cells that are surrounded by a fine capillary network. Immunohistochemically, the cells contain chromogranin A and synaptophysin. Some so-called sustentacular cells, which contain S100 protein, lie around the cell balls.


Therapy is carried out by surgical removal. The operation of intracranial glomus tumors is considered difficult due to the abundance of blood and infiltrative growth. If a neck dissection is necessary , the operation should be carried out with the help of a doctor experienced in neck surgery (e.g. endocrine surgeon, ENT doctor or maxillofacial surgeon). Radiation therapy using "external beam radiation therapy" is a good alternative to risky surgery. The success of chemotherapy for glomus tumors is controversial.

See also


Web links Pathohistology on PathoPic

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Charles Dupin et al .: Treatment of Head and Neck Paragangliomas With External Beam Radiation Therapy. Retrieved April 13, 2018 .
  2. M. Schirmer: Neurosurgery , 10th edition, ISBN 3-437-43600-7 , p. 222