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George X. Papacharalampous, Stavros Korres, Michael Tzagaroulakis, Ioannis Segas, Eleftherios Ferekidis
Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(12): CS145-148
Paragangliomas arise from paraganglion cells as part of the diffuse neuroendocrine system. These tumors are generally considered benign. They appear rarely in the larynx and most of them are supraglottic.
Material and Method: We present the case of a 45-year-old female patient who presented with a history of hoarseness for two months and difficulties in swallowing for twenty days. Fiberoptic endoscopic examination showed a submucosal mass involving the left side of the larynx. The subglottic area of the larynx was normal as were the base of the tongue and pharynx. The mobility of the true vocal cords was normal. There was no stridor or signs of airway obstruction and no neck lemphadenopathy. The patient underwent a direct microlaryngoscopy under general anesthesia. The tumor was entirely removed along with the left aryepiglottic fold with respect to the surrounding tissues. Histopathological examination showed a benign laryngeal paraganglioma.
Conclusions: Paragangliomas of the larynx are rare neuroendocrine tumors. Most of them are supraglottic. The differential diagnosis of laryngeal paraganglioma includes typical carcinoid, atypical carcinoid, small-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and medullary carcinoma of the thyroid gland. Although these tumors are generally considered benign, their surgical removal with respect to the surrounding tissues and maximal possible preservation of laryngeal function is the treatment of choice.