Carotid body tumor (patient information)

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sahar Memar Montazerin, M.D.[2]


Carotid body tumor is an overgrowth of carotid body organ. This organ functions to regulate the blood oxygen level.

What are the Symptoms of carotid body tumor?

This disease may be asymptomatic for a long time, but in case of a symptomatic tumor, the presence of a mass in the side of the neck is the most common complaining symptoms. It may also present with other symptoms depending on the invasion of the tumor to the neighboring structures. symptoms such as:

What Causes carotid body tumor?

The exact cause is still unknown. However, some genetic mutations may play a role in its etiology.

Who is at Highest Risk?

People with particular genetic mutations and those with pulmonary diseases causing low oxygen level of the blood are at highest risk of developing this disorder.


History and physical examination, as well as imaging studies, can result in the diagnosis.

When to Seek Urgent Medical Care?

The tumor has the potential to invade the neighboring structures and transform to malignancy, so it must be worked up as soon as possible.

Treatment Options

  • The treatment options may differ according to the age of the patient, Shamblin sub classification of the tumor and the presence of concurrent tumor elsewhere in the body or metastasis.
  • Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, and observation.

Where to find Medical Care for carotid body tumor?

Medical care for (disease name) can be found here.


There is no prevention for carotid body tumor.

What to Expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible Complications


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