Carotid Body Tumor: Flow Sensitive Pulse Sequences and MR Angiography

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The magnetic resonance (MR) appearance of carotid body tumors has been previously described. Classically, these lesions are well circumscribed and highly vascular and cause a characteristic separation of the external and internal carotid arteries. Hypointense foci within these tumors are seen on Tl-weighted images. The T2-weighted images snow a “salt and pepper” pattern. We report a carotid bifurcation glomus tumor that exhibited the above features on conventional MR. Multiplanar gadolinium enhanced MR as well as flow-sensitive MR techniques including small flip angle gradient refocused images and MR angiography were performed. Magnetic resonance angiography demonstrated the abnormal morphology of the carotid bifurcation. Axial gradient refocused images revealed evidence of flow within the lesion. The findings were then correlated with postcontrast CT. arterial digital subtraction angiography, and histopathology.

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