JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Changing trends in management of carotid body tumors.

American Surgeon 1995 November
UNLABELLED: The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the preoperative diagnostic modalities and aggressive operating management as well as the determination of benefit of preop embolization on the course of carotid body tumor (CBT). Between 1975 and 1993, 14 patients were treated for CBT in our department. The preoperative evaluation included angiography (14/14, 100%), Duplex scanning (6/14, 43%), and CT scanning (9/14, 64%). Five tumors (36%) were type I, four (28%) type II, and five (36%) type III, according to the Shamblin classification. In twelve cases the tumors were successfully excised without ligation of the external carotid artery. One of these patients, who had a very large tumor, underwent preop embolization. In two patients the tumors were found to extend intracranially, and the patients were referred for radiation therapy. There were no deaths or cerebrovascular complications. Temporary cranial nerve injury was noted in two cases. The pathology report revealed paragangliomas without any evidence of malignancy. Follow up of patients (6 months-18 years) showed no recurrence of the tumors in the operated cases and local recurrence in the radiation group.

CONCLUSION: 1. Arteriography remains the golden standard for diagnosis of CBT. Tripplex scanning and CT are helpful for postop follow-up. 2. Surgical removal is the ideal treatment. Preoperative embolization is helpful in diminishing intraoperative blood requirements. 3. CBT, although benign, should be treated as soon as it is diagnosed, before difficulty in excision arises.

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