Glomus Jugulare Tumor

Glomus Jugulare Tumor

A glomus jugulare tumor involves the middle and inner ear structures, which are part of the temporal bone in the skull. Glomus jugulare tumors can affect the upper neck, ear, base of the skull, and the surrounding blood vessels and nerves.

A glomus jugulare tumor originates within the glomus cells (specialized cells found in some blood vessels and along nerves). Glomus cells are peripheral chemoreceptors that regulate breathing by controlling the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the bloodstream and then signaling the brain of any changes.

Glomus jugulare tumors grow in the temporal bone, within an area called the jugular foramen (a large aperture in the base of the skull). The jugular foramen is also where several important nerves exit the skull, including the jugular nerve.

The jugular foramen contains nerve fibers, called glomus bodies, which respond to changes in blood pressure or body temperature.

Glomus jugulare tumors usually occur between the ages of 60 and 70, although they can appear at any age. Glomus jugulare tumors are not entirely understood in the medical community, and the causes are unknown. There are no known risk factors. Glomus tumors have been also been associated with mutations in the gene responsible for the enzyme succinate dehydrogenase (SDHD).

Glomus Jugulare Tumor Symptoms

Glomus jugulare tumor symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing problems or loss
  • Hearing pulsations in the ear
  • Hoarseness
  • Pain
  • Weakness or loss of movement in the face (facial nerve palsy)

Getting Diagnosed

Our team of specialists provides the most up-to-date evaluations using the latest diagnostic and imaging technology.

We work very closely with the departments of Neurosurgery, Interventional Neuroradiology, Neurology and Radiation Oncology, as well as the Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center and Skull Base Center to ensure an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment for the best outcome.

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