Management of Multiple Head and Neck Paragangliomas With Assistance of a 3-D Model

Lifeng Li, Hongbo Xu, Xiaohong Chen, Zhenya Yu, Jing Zhou, Wojciech K. Mydlarz, Nyall R. London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Extirpation of multiple head and neck paragangliomas carries challenge due to close anatomic relationships with critical neurovascular bundles. Objectives: This study aims to assess whether the application of 3-D models can assist with surgical planning and treatment of these paragangliomas, decrease surgically related morbidity and mortality. Methods: Fourteen patients undergoing surgical resection of multiple head and neck paragangliomas were enrolled in this study. A preoperative 3-D model was created based on radiologic data, and relevant critical anatomic relationships were preoperatively assessed and intraoperatively validated. Results: All 14 patients presented with multiple head and neck paragangliomas, including bilateral carotid body tumors (CBT, n = 9), concurrent CBT with glomus jugulare tumors (GJT, n = 4), and multiple vagal paragangliomas (n = 1). Ten patients underwent genomic analysis and all harbored succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit D (SDHD) mutations. Under guidance of the 3-D model, the internal carotid artery (ICA) was circumferentially encased by tumor on 5 of the operated sides, in 4 (80%) of which the tumor was successfully dissected out from the ICA, whereas ICA reconstruction was required on one side (20%). Following removal of CBT, anterior rerouting of the facial nerve was avoided in 3 (75%) of 4 patients during the extirpation of GJT with assistance of a 3-D model. Two patients developed permanent postoperative vocal cord paralysis. There was no vessel rupture or mortality in this study cohort. Conclusion: The 3-D model is beneficial for establishment of a preoperative strategy, as well as planning and guiding the intraoperative procedure for resection of multiple head and neck paragangliomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • 3D model
  • head and neck
  • internal carotid artery
  • multiple
  • paraganglioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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