Multidisciplinary management of locally advanced and widely metastatic paraganglioma in a patient with life-threatening compressive symptoms

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Patients presenting with locally advanced, metastatic paraganglioma with life-threatening compressive symptoms of critical anatomic structure pose a significant management challenge.


We present a case of a 15-year-old patient with enlarging right neck mass causing dysphagia and respiratory compromise from near complete obstruction of the oropharynx.


Evaluation of the patient's family history led to the identification of a mutation in the succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDSD) gene (G725A). Laboratory and imaging workup revealed an 8.8 × 6.6 × 4.1 cm metabolically and biochemically active right neck mass, a tumor in the left para-aortic region, and multiple bony lesions consistent with widely metastatic disease. Multidisciplinary management included preoperative clinical optimization, coil embolization, and palliative resection of the neck mass.


Although the currently available treatment options for patients with advanced metastatic paraganglioma render no survival benefit, a multidisciplinary management approach aimed at relief of tumor-related symptoms and catecholamine excess should be undertaken. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck37: E205–E208, 2015

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