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Surgical Management of Carotid Body Tumor

Hushang Javid, MD, PhD; William S. Dye, MD; James A. Hunter, MD; Hassan Najafi, MD; Ormand C. Julian, MD, PhD
Arch Surg. 1967;95(5):771-779. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330170079011.
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TUMOR of the carotid body, while not common and often benign and asymptomatic, continues to be a subject of great controversy. The confusion regarding indication for surgical intervention probably relates to inadequate knowledge regarding the natural history, incidence of malignancy and the risk of operative mortality and morbidity. The indication for surgical intervention has swung through all extremes in the past few decades. For a number of years complete removal was considered imperative, influenced by the report of Harrington et al1 in 1941, which suggested that 50% of these tumors were histologically malignant. The authors, however, appreciated a more benign clinical course in spite of the morphologic appearance. LeCompte,2 Lahey and Warren,3 Reid,4 and Martin5 advised against removal of the carotid body tumor based on the incidence of high mortality and morbidity. Le-Compte stated that the carotid body tumor almost never gives rise to distant

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