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Asala H. Baharoon, Mohammed A. Al-mekhlafi, Reda A. Jamjoom, Talal A. Al-Khatib, Mazin A. Merdad, Hani Z. Marzouki
(Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:1153-1156
Carotid body tumors are rare tumors that arise from the paraganglionic cells of the carotid body. They are usually benign, requiring surgical resection as the treatment of choice.
CASE REPORT: We present a case of a 59-year-old man with a benign left carotid body tumor that progressed to a very large size, compromised the patient’s airway, completely encased the carotid vessels, vagus and hypoglossal nerves ipsilaterally, and reached the contralateral carotid vessels and ipsilateral skull base. Because of the cranial extension of the tumor, the patient had to undergo preoperative endovascular coiling of the carotid vessels prior to total excision of the tumor.
CONCLUSIONS: Due to the critical location of carotid body tumors, their vascularity, and high risk of neurovascular complications, surgical resection can be quite challenging, especially when the tumor is large. We propose an approach to managing large parapharyngeal tumors by endovascular occlusion of the internal carotid artery above the skull base. Further, a suggestion is made to add a category to Shamblin’s classification – Shamblin IV – for patients with skull base extension requiring preoperative endovascular intervention.