Carotid body tumor with hidden internal carotid artery aneurysm

Matthew L. Rohlfing, Betty Yang, Scharukh Jalisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The most common head and neck paraganglioma is the carotid body paraganglioma. Treatment of carotid body tumors is primarily surgical, and uncontrolled growth leads to cranial nerve deficits and more morbid resection. Methods: A 60-year-old man was referred for evaluation of carotid body tumor, and workup revealed an internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysm within the known mass. Results: Interventional Radiology performed angiogram and stenting across aneurysm with interval dramatic reduction in size of mass, and surgery was avoided altogether. Conclusions: Surgical resection is indicated for carotid body paragangliomas when the patient can tolerate the surgery and when the tumor was not very advanced. This patient had a small tumor that initially appeared easily resectable. Failure to detect the ICA aneurysm before resection may have resulted in devastating vascular injury and possible stroke or death. Identification of underlying vascular pathology is essential for safe treatment and should be prioritized, especially considering this case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E79-E81
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • angiogram
  • carotid aneurysm
  • carotid body tumor
  • neck mass
  • paraganglioma


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