Nonchromaffin Paraganglioma of the Glomus Jugulare

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THE uncommon neoplasm of the temporal bone known as the “glomus jugulare tumor,” “chemodectoma” or “non-chromaffin paraganglioma” of the glomus jugulare has been widely discussed in medical literature since the true nature of this neoplasm was recognized by Rosenwasser.1

The prior recognition that nonchromaffin paraganglionic structures existed in the region of the temporal branch of the jugular bulb is credited to Guild.2,3 Zettergren and Lindström4 confirmed the observation of Guild,3 who described the glomus jugulare as being composed of one or more “jugular bodies,” the average number being about three per ear. He stated that the sites of more than half of these jugular bodies are the adventitia of the dome of the jugular bulb and the portion of Jacobson’s or Arnold’s nerves in the jugular fossa. In one fourth of the patients, glomic bodies were in the mucosa of the cochlear promontory in association with the tympanic plexus of Jacobson’s nerve. In one fifth of the patients, jugular bodies were in the tympanic canaliculus, and in other patients they were in the descending facial canal.

The normal histologic appearance of the glomus jugulare is generally considered to be similar to that of the carotid body.2,3,5 Guild2,3 found that using material from the temporal bone impeded the study of the cytologic details because extensive decalcification first was necessary. He described the structure as an aggregate of capillary or precapillary sized blood vessels arranged in coils or loops about nests of epithelioid cells; venules, in contrast, were straight. A fibrous capsule. . .



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