Bilateral Carotid Body Tumor Evaluated by Three-Dimensional Multislice Computed Tomography Angiography
A 22-year-old man presented to our institution with a palpable mass in the right side of his neck associated with mild dysphagia. Ultrasonography of the neck demonstrated a hypervascular mass within the right carotid bifurcation, consistent with a carotid body tumor. No other abnormality was detected either at palpation or at ultrasonography on the left side of the neck.
Preoperative computed tomography (CT) angiography of carotid arteries was subsequently performed using a multislice spiral CT scanner (Somatom Plus 4 Volume Zoom, Siemens). After intravenous injection of 80 mL of nonionic iodinated contrast material (Visipaque 320, Amersham Health), CT scanning was performed using a high-resolution protocol (slice thickness, 1.0 mm). After acquisition, CT images were transferred to a dedicated workstation, and volume-rendering images were generated (Vitrea 2, Vital Images).
Multislice CT angiography not only demonstrated a large, right-sided carotid body tumor, but it also showed a small, unsuspected mass within the left carotid bifurcation. The 3D volume-rendering reconstructions (Figure; Data Supplement Movie) provided a selective visualization of the anatomic relationships among carotid body tumors, vessels, and surrounding osseous structures with excellent detail.
Both tumors were surgically removed with no complications. Histological analysis showed findings typical of carotid body tumors with no signs of malignancy.
The Movie is available in the online-only Data Supplement at http://www.circulationaha.org.
The editor of Images in Cardiovascular Medicine is Hugh A. McAllister, Jr, MD, Chief, Department of Pathology, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Texas Heart Institute, and Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Texas Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine.
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