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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2002 Mar;126(3):362-4.

Mesenteric paraganglioma: a case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Approximately 5% to 10% of paragangliomas occur in extra-adrenal sites, which can extend from the upper cervical region to the pelvis, parallel to the autonomic nervous system. This distribution corresponds to the embryologic development of the paraganglia from neural crest cells. Rarely, extra-adrenal paragangliomas can also occur aberrantly outside this distribution. We report such a case of extra-adrenal paraganglioma occurring in the anterior mesentery in a 76-year-old man. Two case reports exist in the literature describing extra-adrenal paragangliomas in the posterior mesentery. Normal paraganglionic tissue has been described at the roots of the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries, theoretically explaining the origin of the posterior mesenteric paragangliomas. Our case can best be attributed to the ventral migration of paraganglionic tissue through these vessels to reach the anterior mesentery, where they could potentially give rise to paragangliomas in this site.

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