Glomus jugulare tumor

Alternative Names

Paraganglioma – glomus jugulare

Definition of Glomus jugulare tumor

A glomus jugulare tumor is a tumor of a part of the temporal bone in the skull. This tumor can affect the ear, upper neck, base of the skull, and the surrounding blood vessels and nerves.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

A glomus jugulare tumor grows in the temporal bone of the skull, in an area called the jugular foramen. The jugular foramen is also where the jugular vein and several important nerves exit the skull.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Signs and tests

Glomus jugulare tumors are diagnosed by physical examination and various scans, including:

Treatment

Glomus jugulare tumors are rarely cancerous and do not tend to spread to other parts of the body. However, treatment may be needed to relieve symptoms. The main treatment is surgery. Surgery is complex and is usually done by both a neurosurgeon and a head and neck surgeon (neurotologist).

Expectations (prognosis)

Patients who have surgery or radiation tend to do well. More than 90% of those with glomus jugulare tumors are cured.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Seth Schwartz MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/1/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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