• To better define the management and behavior of carotid body tumors, a 34-year surgical experience with 33 tumors in 30 patients was reviewed. There were 20 women and 10 men with an age range of 20 to 78 years. All but one presented with a neck mass. Arteriography was performed on 21 patients and was diagnostic in every case. There was no surgical mortality. Complications occurred in eight patients (27%), and one long-term neurologic deficit occurred. Three of 33 tumors were malignant, and aggressive resection of all approachable disease with radiotherapy for unresectable metastases led to prolonged survival in each case. Carotid body tumors present with neck mass. Arteriography is diagnostic and surgery is indicated. Even for malignant tumors and metastases, aggressive resection and radiotherapy are indicated.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:963-968)