Carotid Body Tumor

What is a Carotid Body Tumor?

Carotid body tumor is a tumor located on the side of the neck, where the large carotid artery branches into smaller blood vessels to carry the blood into the brain. The cluster of cells around it is called the carotid body or carotid glomus. Carotid body tumor is also known as chemodectoma or paraganglioma. The tumors are not life-threatening, but as they grow quickly, they press on to the nearby nerves and blood vessels and cause damage to those structures. Sometimes, the patient develops multiple small tumors in different sites of the body.

Carotid body tumors are relatively rare, occur in both men and women, and are most often seen in those who are middle aged or older.

What Causes a Carotid Body Tumor?
There is no known cause for carotid body tumor except for hypoxia. Very rarely it is found to have a family connection.

We at CAN-C provide top-quality carotid body tumor treatment in Bangalore.

Here, you will find information about signs and symptoms, causes and risk factors, types, diagnosis, and staging about carotid body tumor.

Carotid body tumor may not cause any symptoms initially, but usually a slow-growing, painless mass on the side of the neck can be felt. Once the tumor grows, it causes a few symptoms like:




Difficulty swallowing


Partial paralysis or numbness in the tongue


Weakness or pain in the shoulders


Vision changes


Drooping eyelid


High blood pressure or heart palpitations


A bruit - the sound of blood as if pushing past an obstruction

There is no known cause in most of the patients with a carotid body tumor, except for hypoxia. Hypoxia is the chronic oxygen deprivation that may come from living at high altitudes. Though rare, there is a family connection in some patients.

There are 2 different types of carotid body tumors:





CAN-C: Best centre for carotid body tumor treatment in Bangalore.

Once carotid body tumor is suspected from the physical exam then a Doppler ultrasound may be ordered first to see if there is a detectable tumor. A computerized tomography (CT) scan will be used to confirm the presence of the tumor.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are excellent tools for diagnosing a carotid body tumor, as they can produce detailed images of the blood vessels as well as the tumor itself.


Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) scans are the best tools for diagnosing a carotid body tumor.


CT angiograms and magnetic resonance angiograms provide excellent diagnostic views of a carotid body tumor.

The staging of carotid body tumor
1. Class I CBT localized with minimal vascular attachment
2. Class II CBT partially surrounds carotids
3. Class III CBT encase carotids.

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How carotid body tumor is treated?

When diagnosed with carotid body tumour, it is necessary to know the available treatment options and weigh the risks and benefits of the treatment options. The treatment depends on various factors such as the type and stage of the carotid body tumor as well as the age, general health, and other things that are unique to the patient. We provide best treatment for carotid body tumor treatment in Bangalore.

Surgery for a carotid body tumor involves removing the tumor and repairing the damage to the carotid artery if occurs. A procedure called embolization may sometimes be performed before the operation. The surgical procedures are generally very safe, with good outcomes. Surgery is the first-line choice of therapy for carotid body tumors.

1. Transcatheter Embolization: A transcatheter embolization is a procedure that reduces blood supply to the tumor. It is done two or three days before surgery. A catheter will be guided through the groin artery into the blood vessels that feed blood to the tumor. Then, medication and/or a blocking device, such as foam, plastic, metal coil, or glue is used to stop the blood flow to the tumor.

2. Surgical Removal (Resection): Most often, the tumor can be removed without the need to repair or remove part of the carotid artery.

Depending on the size and location of the tumor, the carotid artery may need to be repaired after the resection. Sometimes a simple suturing of the carotid artery is enough, but in other cases removing the tumor creates a hole in the carotid artery that needs to be patched, or completely removed if damaged. In certain cases, a bypass graft may be done to replace the damaged section.

In very rare cases of carotid body tumor, radiation therapy is used for treatment.

In the absence of other options radiation therapy is offered. It is an emerging treatment modality for paraganglioma and represents an alternative to surgery especially for elderly patients and for patients with symptomatic tumours that are considered unresectable or has recurred after resection.

Stereotactic (SRT) or conventional radiotherapy (CRT) can achieve arrest of tumour growth and relief of symptoms without the morbidity that may be associated with radical surgery.

Primary radiotherapy may be delivered with conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), stereotactic radiosurgery, or hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy. These approaches have good rates of local control (tumour growth)
1. Conventional radiotherapy
2. External beam radiotherapy
3. Stereotactic Radiosurgery
4. Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy

We at CAN-C provide carotid body tumor treatment (in Bangalore).

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