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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2001 Aug;125(8):1098-100.

Nasopharyngeal gangliocytic paraganglioma.

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  • 1Division of Anatomic Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75235, USA.


Gangliocytic paraganglioma (GP) is a rare neoplasm described almost exclusively in the gastrointestinal tract, especially the periampullary region. However, several examples have been reported at various sites, including the stomach, jejunum, and appendix. Herein we report a case of GP involving the nasopharynx. To our knowledge, this is the first report of GP at this site. A 44-year-old woman presented with headaches and symptoms of fullness and pressure related to mass effect. An initial endoscopic biopsy was followed by surgical excision of the nasopharyngeal mass. The triphasic tumor fulfilled the morphologic and immunohistochemical criteria for GP. The histogenesis of GP is uncertain, and the current belief is that it arises from the embryonic ventral pancreas. This concept is based largely on the location of most cases, which is along the embryologic migration route of the ventral pancreas, as well as the expression of pancreatic polypeptide by the tumor. The nasopharyngeal location of our case clearly refutes the pancreatic origin of GP. We propose that the tumor probably arises from totipotential adult stem cells, which in the right microenvironment differentiate along nonnative cell lineages.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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