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Carotid Body Tumour

CT scan showing carotid body tumor in the neck copy

What is carotid body tumor?

Carotid Body tumor arises from the neural crest cells in the neck. It is a type of paragangliomas. It normally grows near the carotid artery bifurcation. It is benign and only 5 % can be malignant. The growth rate is very slow and it growth less than1 mm per year.

What does carotid body do in our body?

The carotid Body is a small gland which helps to regulate the oxygen, carbon dioxide and pH and helps to prevent organs form hypoxic damage by releasing neurotransmitter to the. body

How does it present?

This condition present in female slightly higher than males and is about 2 per 100000 in general population.

Normally it is asymptomatic and patients find a big lump in the neck. It can also be found incidentally during U/S or Ct of the neck.

5 to 10 % of the cases can present with cranial nerve injury as the mass gets bigger and bigger.

What are the types of carotid body tumor?

There are types of carotid body tumor: familial, sporadic and hyperplastic.

Most common is sporadic and it accounts for 85 % of all the tumors.

Familial tend to happens in younger population and hyperplastic type happens in people who lives in high altitudes like 5000 feet above sea level

What is the treatment available?

Treatment is mostly surgical excision although some cases when surgery is not possible radiotherapy can be used.

What are the complications?

Complications are between 2 to 5 % in experienced hands. Complications are major nerve injuries. This may affect the facial muscles as well as swallowing. In extreme cases patient can get stroke as well as uncontrolled blood pressure and even carotid artery injury.

Diagram showing carotid body tumor before operation copy

Diagram showing carotid body tumor before operation

Diagram showing carotid artery reconstruction after carotid body tumor excision

Dr Tang is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.
Dr Wong is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.

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