• Laird E. Olson
  • James D. Cox
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Small collections of neuroepithelial cells are distributed widely throughout the body. When they are identifible grossly, they are called paraganglia. Those which do not secrete catecholamines, and thus are non-chromaffin, are related to the parasympathetic nervous system. Tumors which develop from these paraganglia are most frequently found in the temporal bone or the cervical region. The term “chemodectoma” has been applied to these tumors because of their lcoation in the vicinity of the carotid body, which is known chemoreceptor sensitive to pH, and concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Since only the tumors which arise in the vicinity of the aortic body or carotid body can be considered chemodectomas, the more general term, non-chromaffin paraganglioma, is preferred. However, much of the literature concerning these tumors uses “chemodectoma” in a broad sense, and the following discussion will use this term as synonymous with non-chromaffin paraganglioma.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alford BR, Guilford FR (1953) A comprehensive study of tumors of glomus jugulare. Brain 76: 576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Batsakis JG (1979) Paragangliomas of the head and neck. In: Tumors of the head and neck, 2nd edn. Williams and Wilkins Company, Baltimore, pp369–380Google Scholar
  3. Brammer RE, Graham MD, Kemink JL (1984) Glomus tumors of the temporal bone: Contemporary evaluation and therapy. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America 17: 499–512PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Capps FCW (1957) Tumours of the glomus jugulare or tympanic body. J Facul Radiol 8: 312–324Google Scholar
  5. Chambers RG, Mahoney WD (1968) Carotid body tumors. Am J Surg 115: 554–558Google Scholar
  6. Cole JM (1977) Glomus jugulare tumor. Laryngoscope 87: 1244–1258PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cole JM (1979) Panel discussion: Glomus jugulare tumors of the temporal bone. Radiation of glomus tumors of the temporal bone. Laryngoscope 89:1623PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Conley J J (1965) The carotid body tumor: A review of 29 cases. Arch Otolaryngol 81:187–193PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cummings BJ, Beale FA, Garrett PG, Harwood AR, Keane TJ, Payne DG, Rider WD (1984) The treatment of glomus tumors in the temporal bone by megavoltage radiation. Cancer 53: 2635–2640PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dent TL, Thompson NW, Fry WJ (1976) Carotid body tumors. Surg 80: 365–372Google Scholar
  11. Dickens WJ, Million RR, Cassisi NJ, Singleton GT (1982) Chemodectomas arising in temporal bone structures. Laryngoscope 92:188–191PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Duke WW, Boshell BR, Soteres P et al. (1964) A norepinephrine-secreting glomus jugulare tumor presenting as a pheochromocytoma. Ann Int Med 60: 1040–1047Google Scholar
  13. Farr HW (1980) Carotid body tumors: A 40-year study. CA-A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 30: 260–265PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grufferman S. Gillman MW, Pasternek LR, Peterson CL, Young WG (1980) Familial carotid body tumors: Case report and epidemiologic review. Cancer 46: 2116–2122PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Guild SR (1941) Anat Rec 79: 28Google Scholar
  16. Guild SR (1953) Ann Otol, St. Louis 62: 1045Google Scholar
  17. Hatfield PM, James AE, Schulz MD (1972) Chemodectomas of the glomus jugulare. Cancer 30: 1164–1668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hudgins PT (1972) Radiotherapy for extensive glomus jugulare tumors. Radiol 103: 427–429Google Scholar
  19. Jackson AW, Koshiba R (1974) Treatment of glomus jugulare tumors by radiotherapy. Proc R Soc Med 67: 9–12Google Scholar
  20. Javid H, Chawla SK, Dye WS et al. (1976) Carotid body tumor. Arch Surg 111: 344–347PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim JA, Elkon D, Lim ML, Constable WC (1980) Optimum dose of radiotherapy for chemodectomas of the middle ear. Int J Rad Oncol Biol Phys 6: 815–819Google Scholar
  22. Krause W (1878) Zbl Med Wiss 16: 737Google Scholar
  23. Krupski WC, Effeney DJ, Ehrenfeld WK, Stoney RJ (1982) Cervical chemodectoma. Technical considerations and mangemenl options. Am J Surg 144: 215–220PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lack EE, Cubilla AL, Woodruff JM, Farr HW (1977) Paragangliomas of the head and neck region. Cancer 39: 397–409PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Levit SA, Sheps SG, Espinosa RE et al. (1976) Cathecholamine-secreting paraganglioma of glomus-jugulare region resembling phenchromocytoma. New Engl J Med 281: 805–811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lybeert MLM, van Andel JG, Eijkenboom WMH, de Jong PC, Kengt P (1984) Radiotherapy of paragangliomas. Clin Otolaryngol 9:105–109PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Martin CE, Rosenfeld L, McSwain B (1973) Carotid body tumors. A 16-year followup of seven malignant cases. Southern Med J 66: 1236–1243PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Maruyama Y (1972) Radiotherapy of tympanojugular chemodectomas. Radiol 105: 659–663Google Scholar
  29. McCabe B, Fletcher M (1979) Selection of therapy of glomus jugulare tumors. Arch Otolaryngol 89:182–185Google Scholar
  30. McGuirt WF, Harker LA (1975) Carotid body tumors. Arch Otolaryngol 101: 58–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Million RR, Cassisi NJ (1984) Chemodectomas (Glomus Body Tumors). In: Management of Head and Neck Cancer, A Multi-disciplinary Approach. J B Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, pp 567–578Google Scholar
  32. Newman H, Rowe JF Jr, Phillips TL (1973) Radiation therapy of the glomus jugulare tumor. AJR 18: 663–669Google Scholar
  33. Reddy EK, Mansfield CM, Hartman GV (1983) Chemodectoma of glomus jugulare. Cancer 52: 337–340PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rosai J (1981) Ackerman’s surgical pathology 6th edn. The C V Mosby Company, St. Louis, pp697–727Google Scholar
  35. Rosenwasser H (1951) Arch Otolaryng 54: 453Google Scholar
  36. Rosenwasser H (1958) Metastasis from glomus jugulare tumors. AMA Archives Otolaryngol 67:197–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Saldana MJ, Salem LE, Travezan R (1973) High altitude hypoxia and chemodectomas. Human Pathol 4: 251–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shamblin WR, ReMine WH, Sheps SG, Harrison EG Jr (1971) Carotid body tumor (chemodectoma). Clinicopathologic analysis of ninety cases. Am J Surg 122: 732–739PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Simko TG, Griffin TW, Gerdes AJ, Parker RG, Tesh DW, Taylor W, Blasko JC (1978) The role of radiation therapy in the treatment of glomus jugulare tumors. Cancer 42: 104–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Spector GJ, Campagno J, Perez CA, Maisel RH, Ogura JH (1975) Glomus jugulare tumors: Effects of radiotherapy. Cancer 35:1316–1321PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Spector GJ, Fierstein J, Ogura JH (1976) A comparison of therapeutic modalities of glomus tumors in the temporal bone. Laryngoscope 86: 690–696PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Suit HD, Gallagher HS (1964) Intact tumor cells in irradiated tissue. Arch Pathol 78: 648PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Tidwell TJ, Montague ED (1975) Chemodectomas involving the temporal bone. Radiol 116: 147–149Google Scholar
  44. Valentin G (1840) Arch Anta Physiol LPZ: 287Google Scholar
  45. Van Asperen de Boer FRS, Terpstra JL, Vink M (1981) Diagnosis, treatment and operative complications of carotid body tumors. Br J Surg 68: 433–438PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Van Haller, cited by Dickinson AM, Traver CA (1945) Carotid body tumors. Review of the literature with report of two cases. Am J Surg 69: 9–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wang CC, Doppke K (1976) Osteoradionecrosis of the temporal bone - Consideration of nominal standard dose. Rad Oncol Biol Phys 1: 881–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wang CC (1980) What is the optimum dose of radiation therapy for glomus jugulare? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 6: 945–946PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laird E. Olson
    • 1
  • James D. Cox
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyColumbia Presbyterian Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations