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J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2012 Jun;73(3):197-207. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1312707.

Surgical management of giant transdural glomus jugulare tumors with cerebellar and brainstem compression.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, United States.


Objective The objective of this study is to discuss the management of advanced glomus jugulare tumors (GJTs) presenting with intradural disease and concurrent brainstem compression. Study Design This is a retrospective case series. Results Over the last decade, four patients presented to our institution with large (Fisch D2; Glasscock-Jackson 4) primary or recurrent GJTs resulting in brainstem compression of varying severities. All patients underwent surgical resection through a transtemporal, transcervical approach resulting in adequate brainstem decompression; the average operative time was 12.75 hours and the estimated blood loss was 2.7 L. All four patients received postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy in the form of intensity-modulated radiation therapy or stereotactic radiosurgery. Combined modality treatment permitted tumor control in all patients (range of follow-up 5 to 9 years). Conclusion A small subset of GJTs may present with intracranial transdural extension with aggressive brainstem compression mandating surgical intervention. Surgical resection is extremely challenging; the surgical team must be prepared for extensive operating time and the patient for prolonged aggressive rehabilitation. Newly diagnosed and recurrent large GJTs involving the brainstem may be controlled with a combination of aggressive surgical resection and postoperative radiation.


glomus jugulare; lateral skull base; paraganglioma

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