Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 365, Issue 2, pp 163–177 | Cite as

Jugular body tumors: Hyperplasias or true neoplasms?

Light and electron microscopical investigations
  • Dankwart Stiller
  • Detlef Katenkamp
  • Klaus Küttner


Problems of classification of certain growth processes were discussed using jugular body tumors to find out cytological criteria for characterizing growth traits. For this purpose light microscopical (9 cases), electron microscopical (6 cases) and enzyme histochemical investigations (3 cases) were performed. For comparison 4 carotid body tumors were examined. We are inclined to assume a neoplastic nature. An explanation as hyperplastic proliferation is refuted because a remarkable cellular variation in size and form, only sparse nerve fibers and lacking synaptic contacts, because submicroscopical features and because the clinical picture and course of the disease. It is pointed to the origin of the tumor cells from rudimentary endocrine-like cells occurring in the glomus jugulare-tympanicum in analogy to other neoplasias. The clinical symptoms, the course and the pathologic anatomical pattern suggest an interpretation of jugular body tumors as potential malignant growths.


Enzyme Nerve Fiber Growth Process Clinical Picture Growth Trait 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


An Hand von Paragangliomen des Mittelohres (jugular body tumors) werden Probleme der Klassifikation von Wachstumsprozessen erörtert. Im Vordergrund stand die biologische Einordnung dieser Tumoren. Dabei wurden zytologische Kriterien mittels lichtmikroskopischer (9 Fälle), elektronenmikroskopischer (6 Fälle) und enzymhistochemischer Methoden (3 Fälle) erarbeitet. Zum Vergleich wurden 4 Karotiskörpertumoren herangezogen. Als Ursache dieser Gewächse wird eine hyperplastische Proliferation abgelehnt. Die Annahme der neoplastischen Natur ergibt sich aus der zellulären Form- und Größenvariation, der Spärlichkeit von Nervenfasern und dem Fehlen von Synapsen, ferner aus submikroskopischen Befunden sowie aus dem klinischen Bild und dem Verlauf der Erkrankung. Der Ursprung der Tumorzellen wird auf rudimentäre, endokrinähnliche Zellen zurückgeführt. Damit besteht eine Analogie zu anderen Neoplasien. Die klinischen Symptome, der Verlauf und das pathologisch-anatomische Bild legen eine Interpretation der Paragangliome des Mittelohres als potentiell maligne Gewächse nahe.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Balogh, K., Draskóczy, P. R., Caulfield, J. B.: Norepinephrine in tumours of the jugular glomus. Amer. J. Path. 48, 40a (1966)Google Scholar
  2. Barroso-Moguel, R., Costero, I.: Argentaffin cells of the carotid body tumor. Amer. J. Path. 41, 389–403 (1962)Google Scholar
  3. Böck, P.: Das System der chromaffinen Paraganglien. Wien. klin. Wschr. 86, 95–97 (1974)Google Scholar
  4. Brown, J. S.: Glomus jugulare tumors. Methods and difficulties of diagnosis and surgical treatment. Laryngoscope (St Louis) 77, 26–67 (1967)Google Scholar
  5. Capella, C., Solcia, E.: Optical and electron microscopical study of cytoplasmic granules in human carotid body, carotid body tumors and glomus jugulare. Virchows Arch. Abt. B 7, 37–53 (1971)Google Scholar
  6. DeLellis, R. A., Roth, J. A.: Norepinephrine in a glomus jugulare tumour. Histochemical demonstration. Arch. Path. 92, 73–75 (1971)Google Scholar
  7. Ferreira, M. N.: Argentaffin and other “endocrine” cells of the small intestine in the adult mouse. I. Ultrastructure and classification. Amer. J. Anat. 131, 315–330 (1971)Google Scholar
  8. Fuller, A. M., Brown, H. A., Harrison, E. G., Sickert, R. G.: Chemodectomas of the glomus jugulare. Laryngoscope (St Louis) 77, 218–238 (1967)Google Scholar
  9. Gejrot, T., Lagerlöf, B., Wersäll, J.: Tumours of the glomus jugulare. A light and electron microscopic study. Acta oto-larying. (Stockh.), Suppl. 188, 220–226 (1963)Google Scholar
  10. Gonzalez-Angulo, A., Feria-Velasco, A., Corvera, J., Elias, E. Y.: Ultrastructure of the glomus jugulare tumor. Arch. Otolaryng. 87, 12–21 (1968)Google Scholar
  11. Grimley, P. M., Glenner, G. G.: Histology and ultrastructure of carotid body paragangliomas. Comparison with the normal gland. Cancer (Philad.) 20, 1473–1488 (1967)Google Scholar
  12. Hachmeister, U., Okorie, O.: Die Histogenese des kleinzelligen Bronchialcarcinoms. Verh. dtsch. Ges. Path. 55, 716–721 (1971)Google Scholar
  13. Hage, E.: Histochemistry and fine structure of bronchial carcinoid tumours. Virchows Arch. Abt. A 361, 121–128 (1973)Google Scholar
  14. Hamberger, C.-A., Hamberger, C. B., Wersäll, J., Wagermark, J.: Malignant catecholamineproducing tumour of the carotid body. Acta path. microbiol. scand. 69, 489–492 (1967)Google Scholar
  15. Hatfield, P. M., James, A. E., Schulz, M. D.: Chemodectomas of the glomus jugulare. Cancer (Philad.) 30, 1164–1168 (1972)Google Scholar
  16. House, W. F., Graham, M. D.: Bilateral glomus tumors of the temporal bone. Report of a case. Arch. Otolaryng. 98, 58–59 (1973)Google Scholar
  17. Kondo, H.: An electron microscopic study on innervation of the carotid body of guinea pig. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 37, 544–562 (1971)Google Scholar
  18. Lattes, R., Waltner, J. G.: Nonchromaffin paraganglioma of the middle ear. Cancer (Philad.) 2, 447–459 (1949)Google Scholar
  19. LeCompte, P. M.: Tumors of the carotid body and related structures (chemoreceptor system). In: Atlas of tumor pathology, sect. IV, fasc. 16. Washington: Armed Forces Institute of Pathology 1951Google Scholar
  20. Levit, S. A., Sheps, S. G., Espinosa, R. E., Remine, W. H., Harrison, E. G.: Catecholaminesecreting paraganglioma of glomus jugulare region resembling pheochromocytoma. New Engl. J. Med. 281, 805–811 (1969)Google Scholar
  21. Luse, S. A.: Ultrastructural characteristics of normal and neoplastic cells. Progr. exp. Tumor Res. (Basel) 2, 1–32 (1961)Google Scholar
  22. Moore, G. R., Robbins, J. P., Seale, D. L., Fitz-Hugh, G. S., Constable, W. C.: Chemodectomas of the middle ear. A comparison of therapeutic modalities. Arch. Otolaryngol. 98, 330–335 (1973)Google Scholar
  23. Mulligan, R. M.: Chemodectoma in the dog. Amer. J. Path. 26, 680–681 (1950)Google Scholar
  24. Moosavi, H., Smith, P., Heath, D.: The Feyrter cell in hypoxia. Thorax 28, 729–741 (1973)Google Scholar
  25. Pearse, A. G. E.: The cytochemistry and ultrastructure of polypeptide hormone-producing cells of the APUD series and the embryologic, physiologic and pathologic implications of the concept. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 17, 303–313 (1969)Google Scholar
  26. Pollack, R. S.: Carotid body tumors-idiosyncrasies. Oncology 27, 80–91 (1973)Google Scholar
  27. Pryse-Davies, J., Dawson, I. M. P., Westbury, G.: Some morphologic, histochemical, and chemical observations on chemodectomas and the normal carotid body, including a study of the chromaffin reaction and possible ganglion cell elements. Cancer (Philad.) 17, 185–202 (1964)Google Scholar
  28. Qizilbash, A. H.: Benign paraganglioma of the duodenum. Case report with light and electron microscopic examination and brief review of the literature. Arch. Path. 96, 276–280 (1973)Google Scholar
  29. Roediger, W. E. W.: The nature of the silver binding in the canine thyroid “C” cell. S. Afr. J. med. Sci. 38, 17–22 (1973)Google Scholar
  30. Rosenwasser, H.: Glomus jugulare tumors: III. Clinical diagnosis. Arch. Otolaryngol. 88, 11–15 (1968)Google Scholar
  31. Saldana, M. J., Salem, L. E., Travczan, R.: High altitude hypoxia and chemodectomas. Human Path. 4, 250–263 (1973)Google Scholar
  32. Schermer, K. L., Pontius, E. E., Dziabis, M. D., McQuiston, R. J.: Tumors of the glomus jugulare and glomus tympanicum. Cancer (Philad.) 19, 1273–1280 (1966)Google Scholar
  33. Schwingshackl, H., Hörtnagl, H., Weiser, G., Glettner, M. A.: Maligner Tumor des Glomus caroticum mit Katecholaminsekretion. Dtsch. med. Wschr. 98, 993–995 (1973)Google Scholar
  34. Spector, G. J., Maisel, R. H., Ogura, J. H.: Glomus tumors in the middle ear. I. An analysis of 46 patients. Laryngoscope (St Louis) 83, 1652–1672 (1973)Google Scholar
  35. Totten, R. S.: Terminology of carotid body tumors: confusion at the crossroads (bifurcation). Human Path. 4, 453–454 (1973)Google Scholar
  36. Villiaumey, J., Amouroux, J., Rotterdam, M., Pointud, P., Delporte, M.-P.: Les métastases osseuses des chémodectomas du corpuscule carotidien. Sem. Hôp. Paris 50, 854–864 (1974)Google Scholar
  37. Weichert, R. F.: The neural ectodermal origin of the peptide secreting endocrine glands. Amer. J. Med. 49, 232–241 (1970)Google Scholar
  38. Westbrook, K. C., Guillamondegui, O. M., Medellin, H., Jesse, R. H.: Chemodectomas of the neck. Selective management. Amer. J. Surg. 124, 760–766 (1972)Google Scholar
  39. Zettergren, L., Lindström, J.: Glomus tympanicum. Its occurrence in man and its relation to middle ear tumors of carotid body type. Acta path. microbiol. scand. 28, 157–164 (1951)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dankwart Stiller
    • 1
  • Detlef Katenkamp
    • 1
  • Klaus Küttner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Pathology and Clinic of Oto-Rhino-LaryngologyFriedrich-Schiller-UniversityJenaGerman Democratic Republic

Personalised recommendations