TUMORS arising in the carotid body, although encountered infrequently, have received extensive consideration in the medical and surgical literature. There is, however, no unanimity of opinion as to whether such lesions are benign or malignant and whether surgical removal should be carried out in all cases. Treatment becomes more difficult when these tumors occur bilaterally.
A tumor arising from the carotid body was first noted by Marchand in 1891. Although Middleton and Bierring are credited with the first reported case of bilateral carotid body tumors in 1897, it was not until 1917 that Lund described successful treatment by operation in a similar case. In his case the first tumor was removed from the left side of the neck 29 years before the operation on the right side for a lesion that had been present about 16 years. One of our cases, previously described by Rankin and Wellbrock (case 1), was