Management of vagal paragangliomas including application of internal carotid artery stenting

Seung Ho Shin, Paolo Piazza, Giuseppe De Donato, Shailendra Sivalingam, Lorenzo Lauda, Francesca Vitullo, Mario Sanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The primary treatment of vagal paraganglioma (VP) includes 'wait and scan', surgery and radiotherapy. Objectives: To present the clinical findings, surgical treatment including application of internal carotid artery (ICA) stenting to facilitate surgery, and complications, as well as to review the literature and to discuss the decision-making process in the management of VP cases based on our experience and the literature. Design: A retrospective case review of 22 cases with VP. Setting: Quaternary neurotologic and skull base referral center. Material and Methods: The retrospective chart review identified 22 patients presenting with VP. Our indication for surgery was VP in younger patients, irrespective of the existence of vocal cord paralysis. Preoperative endovascular management of the ICA included permanent balloon occlusion (PBO) and stenting. The transcervical approach and the infratemporal fossa approach type A (ITFA) were used. Results: Fifteen cases had multicentric paragangliomas, 5 cases bilateral tumors, 3 cases a genetic mutation, and 2 cases a positive family history. The most common symptoms were hoarseness, tinnitus and hearing loss. The surgical approaches commonly employed for excision were the transcervical approach (9 cases) and the ITFA (12 cases), whereas 1 case did not have surgery. Three cases had PBO and 7 had intracarotid stent insertion. Gross total removal was achieved in 19 cases, and 1 case had a recurrence. Eighteen cases had no dysphagia or were well compensated after surgery. There were no significant complications noted in our series. Conclusions: In younger patients with VP, surgery should be recommended. The proper preoperative endovascular intervention and surgical approach facilitates gross total tumor removal. In the management of bilateral or familial paragangliomas, careful and appropriate decision making is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalAudiology and Neurotology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Chemodectoma
  • Internal carotid artery
  • Stenting
  • Tumors, associated
  • Vagal paraganglioma


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