Temporal Bone Paragangliomas

Paragangliomas of the temporal bone (60%) and glomus vagale (10%) account for the vast majority of jugular foramen tumors (70%) (Table 83-1). Currently, the term paraganglioma is preferable, as it refers to the fact that these tumors arise from the paraganglia situated in perivascular locations, arising from neuroectodermal tissues. The term glomus is a misnomer and, although inaccurate, will no doubt persist.

In the head and neck, two anatomic groups of paragan-gliomas can be differentiated: temporal bone paragangliomas and cervical paragangliomas. Temporal bone paragangliomas can be classified as glomus tympanicum and glomus jugulare, in those cases in which the site of origin of the tumor can be determined. The term cervical paragangliomas describes glomus caroticum and glomus vagale. The jugular foramen can be affected by temporal bone paragangliomas and glomus vagale.

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