Contemporary management of carotid body tumors in a Midwestern academic center

Brian Daniel Wernick, Courtney L. Furlough, Urjeet Patel, Sandeep Samant, Andrew W. Hoel, Heron E. Rodriguez, Tadaki T. Tomita, Mark K. Eskandari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Carotid body tumors are rare, neurogenic tumors arising from the periadventitial chemoreceptive tissue of the carotid body. The purpose of this study is to ascertain the presentation and preoperative risk factors associated with surgical resection. Methods: A single-center retrospective review of 25 carotid body tumor resections from 2002 to 2019. Demographics, periprocedural details, and postoperative outcomes were analyzed using Stata (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX). Results: Among 25 patients, 64% were women, 84% were asymptomatic, and the mean age was 49 years (range 21–79). Forty-four percent of tumors were Shamblin III. Nine patients underwent preoperative embolization but did not correlate with decreased blood loss (299 cm3 vs 205 cm3, P = .35). The 30-day death, stroke, and cranial nerve injury rates were 0%, 8%, and 32%, respectively. Cranial nerve injuries included 20% vagus, 4% hypoglossal, 4% facial, and 4% glossopharyngeal, with permanent deficits in 4% (n = 1). Mean length of stay was 3.0 days (range 1–9 days). At a mean follow-up of 12 months (range 1–63 months), there has been no recurrence. Conclusion: Although carotid body tumors are uncommon in the Midwest, complete surgical resection is curative of these typically hormonally inactive tumors. Preoperative embolization did not affect blood loss, and the incidence of death, stroke, and permanent cranial nerve injury rates remained very low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-704
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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