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01.12.2012 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 1/2012

Case of spontaneous regression of carotid body tumor in a SDHD mutant: a discussion on potential mechanisms based on a review of the literature

World Journal of Surgical Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2012
Sebastiaan Hammer, Jeroen C. Jansen, Eleonora P. M. van der Kleij-Corssmit, Frederik J. Hes, Mark C. Kruit
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1477-7819-10-218) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interest

All authors declare no competing interest.

Authors’ contributions

SH and MK carried out the MR examinations and drafted the manuscript. FH performed genetic analysis and drafted the manuscript. JJ and EC performed physical examinations and patient follow-up and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Head and neck paragangliomas are tumors associated with the parasympathetic nerve system and typically show an indolent growth pattern. Therefore a conservative management strategy is considered in selected cases.

Methods and results

We present a case of a female patient who presented in 2003 with bilateral carotid body tumors and a tympanic tumor, associated with a mutation in the succinate dehydrogenase -sub-unit-D (SDHD). She was operated on the right carotid body tumor and the tympanic tumor. Thereafter the follow-up was performed with MR examinations at 2-year intervals. After an initial stable phase, over the last 3 years a spontaneous near-total regression of the contralateral carotid body tumor was observed, with only subtle rest-abnormalities visible in 2011.


The present case underlines the indolent growth pattern of head and neck paragangliomas and for the first time describes a rare manifestation of spontaneous regression of a carotid body tumor. The literature was reviewed to discuss this phenomenon.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
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