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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000 Jun;124(6):877-9.

Paraganglioma of the tongue.

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Department of Pathology, Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Centre and the University of British Columbia, Canada.


Paragangliomas are neuroendocrine tumors arising from extra-adrenal autonomic ganglia. We present what is to our knowledge the first immunohistochemically documented case of a paraganglioma of the tongue, a 2.5-cm benign tumor growing in the position of the foramen cecum. The patient was an elderly woman who presented with throat irritation. The histologic profile and ultrastructural appearance of this lesion were classic for paraganglioma, and cells stained strongly for neurosecretory granules by immunohistochemistry. Carcinoid, ectopic thyroid neoplasm, and other tumors that mimic paraganglioma were ruled out on immunohistochemical grounds. To our knowledge, paraganglia have not been previously documented in the tongue; this tumor may have arisen from a branch of cranial nerve VII or IX, or from an embryologic remnant of the thyroid or thyroid capsule.

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