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Glomus faciale tumors: A report of 3 cases and literature review

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March 24, 2017
by Sahar Nadimi, MD; John P. Leonetti, MD; Sam J. Marzo, MD; Douglas E. Anderson, MD; Gulrez Mahmood, MD; Derek Bumgarner, MD

Abstract

Our objectives in reporting this case series are to familiarize readers with the rare occurrence of paragangliomas originating along the facial nerve and to provide a literature review. We describe 3 such cases that occurred at our tertiary care academic medical center. Two women and 1 man presented with a tumor adjacent to the vertical segment of the facial nerve. The first patient, a 48-year-old woman, presented with what appeared to be a parotid tumor at the stylomastoid foramen; she underwent a parotidectomy, transmastoid facial nerve decompression, and a shave biopsy of the tumor. The second patient, a 66-year-old man, underwent surgery via a postauricular infratemporal fossa approach, and a complete tumor resection was achieved. The third patient, a 56-year-old woman, presented with a middle ear mass; she underwent complete tumor removal through a transmastoid transcanal approach. All 3 patients exhibited normal facial nerve function both before and after surgery. Paragangliomas of the facial nerve are extremely rare, and their signs and symptoms are unlike those of any other temporal bone glomus tumors. Management options include surgical resection, radiologic surveillance, and radiotherapy. The facial nerve can be spared in selected cases.

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