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International Angiology 2006 March;25(1):40-5


lingua: Inglese

Surgical treatment of carotid body tumors without embolization

Bakoyiannis K. C. N., Georgopoulos S. E., Klonaris C. N., Tsekouras N. S., Felekouras E. S., Pikoulis E. A., Griniatsos J. E., Papalambros E. L., Astounis.E. A.

First Department of Surgery, University of Athens Medical School, Laiko General Hospital, Athens, Greece


Aim. Carotid body (CB) paragangliomas are rare neoplasms, usually benign. This study deals with our 10-year experience in their surgical treatment and the evaluation of its effectiveness, without preoperative embolization.
Methods. During a 10-year period, from 1995 to 2004, we studied the medical records of 11 patients with CB tumors, 8 males and 3 females, whom only one had bilateral tumors. Their age ranged from 23 to 65 years (mean 35 years) and all had a palpable neck mass. Only two of the patients were asymptomatic on admission to our department. Twelve tumors were surgically resected and no patient underwent preoperative selective embolism of his tumor. Two patients had carotid endarterectomies with venous patch angioplasty. No one of the patients underwent radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Results. Perioperative mortality was zero. No stroke or any other cerebral event was observed. One patient, with a grade III tumor, had an injury of the internal carotid artery that was repaired with a vein patch. Three patients had temporal cranial nerve lesions that resolved within 3 months. No malignancy was found even in a 10-year follow-up.
Conclusion. Early surgical treatment is strongly recommended in almost all patients. Their resection is a very challenging operation with good postoperative results. Preoperative embolism of the tumor does not need to be a routine procedure. To exclude malignancy, long term follow-up is necessary.

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