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Head and neck paragangliomas are tumors associated with the parasympathetic nerve system and typically show an indolent growth pattern. Therefore a conservative management strategy is considered in selected cases. We present a case of a female patient who presented in 2003 with bilateral carotid body tumors and a tympanic tumor, associated with a mutation in the succinate dehydrogenase -sub-unit-D (SDHD). She was operated on the right carotid body tumor and the tympanic tumor. Thereafter the follow-up was performed with MR examinations at 2-year intervals. After an initial stable phase, over the last 3 years a spontaneous near-total regression of the contralateral carotid body tumor was observed, with only subtle rest-abnormalities visible in 2011. The present case underlines the indolent growth pattern of head and neck paragangliomas and for the first time describes a rare manifestation of spontaneous regression of a carotid body tumor. The literature was reviewed to discuss this phenomenon.


Sebastiaan Hammer, Jeroen C Jansen, Eleonora P M van der Kleij-Corssmit, Frederik J Hes, Mark C Kruit. Case of spontaneous regression of carotid body tumor in a SDHD mutant: a discussion on potential mechanisms based on a review of the literature. World journal of surgical oncology. 2012;10:218

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PMID: 23083338

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