Resection of Carotid Body Tumors reduces arterial blood pressure. An underestimated neuroendocrine syndrome

Stefano de Franciscis, Raffaele Grande, Lucia Butrico, Gianluca Buffone, Luca Gallelli, Edoardo Scarcello, Francesco Giuseppe Caliò, Domenico De Vito, Rita Compagna, Maurizio Amato, Francesco Fugetto, Vincenzo Gasbarro, Bruno Amato, Raffaele Serra
International Journal of Surgery 2014, 12 Suppl 1: S63-7

INTRODUCTION: Carotid Body Tumors (CBTs) are Paragangliomas (PGLs) located in the head and neck region which usually do not cause overt neuroendocrine symptoms and hypertension. Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) have shown a strong correlation between CBTs and their clinical behavior. Aim of this study is to analyze the relationship between changes in arterial blood pressure and metalloproteinases levels after surgical resection of CBTs.

METHODS: We performed a multicenter clinical study on 17 patients with benign and malignant CBTs (5 males; 12 females). Tumors were completely resected and biopsies, obtained at the time of surgery, were lysed for Western blot analysis to determine MMPs levels in tissues. An enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA) kit was used to determine the concentration of MMPs in plasma fluid. Blood pressure values were measured at admission and at 10 days after surgery.

RESULTS: At the time of the admission, blood pressure values were higher in patients with CBTs respect to control patients; moreover in patients with malignant CBTs blood pressure values were higher (P < 0.01) respect to patients with benign CBTs. 10 days after the surgery, we documented a significant decrease (P < 0.01) in blood pressure values and in MMPs levels in all patients with CBTs.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that, despite the CTBs are considered non-functional tumors, an "underestimated" neuroendocrine activity on arterial blood pressure may be detected.

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