Bilateral carotid body tumor: the role of fine-needle aspiration biopsy in the preoperative diagnosis

Marilin Rosa, Sunati Sahoo
Diagnostic Cytopathology 2008, 36 (3): 178-80
Carotid body (CB) is a round to ovoid or flattened structure situated within the adventitia of the common carotid artery bifurcation on both sides of the neck. CB contains two basic types of cells: chief cells (or glomus type 1) and sustentacular cells (glomus type 2). Carotid body tumor (CBT) or paraganglioma arises from the chief cells of the carotid body. The diagnosis of CBT is typically made with radiological studies. Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is seldom requested for this purpose due to rare but dreadful reported complications such as hemorrhage and damage to the carotid artery. In this report we discuss the cytological findings of a malignant CBT diagnosed by FNAB in a 22 year-old female.

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