Paraganglioma presenting as cholesterol granuloma of the petrous apex

September 18, 2013
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Abstract

We report the unique finding of a petrous apex cholesterol granuloma associated with a paraganglioma, also known as a glomus jugulare tumor, in a 52-year-old woman who presented to our department with pulsatile tinnitus, hearing loss, aural fullness, and disequilibrium. She had been treated for a petrous apex cholesterol granuloma 20 years earlier, at which time she had undergone drainage of the granuloma via subtotal petrous apicectomy. When she came to our facility approximately 20 years later, she had signs and symptoms consistent with a jugular paraganglioma, which was likely to have been present at the time of her initial presentation for the cholesterol granuloma. In fact, microscopic bleeding from the paraganglioma might have led to the formation of the cholesterol granuloma. The metachronous presentation of these two entities, which to our knowledge has not been reported previously in the literature, indicates the potential association of paragangliomas with the formation of cholesterol granulomas of the petrous apex.

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