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Carotid body tumour

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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This is a slow-growing tumour which arises in the carotid body at the carotid bifurcation. It eventually becomes locally invasive and may finally metastasise. Histologically, it comprises large chromaffin polyhedral cells in a vascular fibrous stroma.

The condition presents as a slowly enlarging mass which transmits the carotid pulsation. The mass itself, may be so highly vascular that it demonstrates pulsation. It is mobile from side to side but not up and down.

The diagnosis is confirmed using a carotid angiogram.

Treatment is normally by surgical excision.

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