Carotid body tumor diagnostic study of choice

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Carotid body tumor Microchapters


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Historical Perspective




Differentiating Carotid Body Tumor from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

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Diagnostic Study of Choice

History and Symptoms

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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] Maria Fernanda Villarreal, M.D. [3]


The carotid body tumor is diagnosed primarily by history and physical examination. However, imaging studies are necessary to make the final diagnosis. Color Doppler ultrasound has been recommended as a method of screening for the diagnosis of carotid body tumor. It is also suggested that CT angiography is more accurate than color Doppler ultrasound for the diagnosis of larger lesions. CT imaging combined with color Doppler ultrasound has been suggested as the optimal detection modality for the assessment and management of the tumor. It should be mentioned that, traditionally, digital subtraction angiography (DSA) has been the gold standard for the diagnosis of carotid body tumor.

Diagnostic Study of Choice

The comparison of various diagnostic studies for carotid body tumor

Test Sensitivity Specificity Accuracy
CT angiography 100% 100% 100%
Color Doppler ultrasound 89.8% 82.6% 87.5%
Sequence of Diagnostic Studies

Name of Diagnostic Criteria


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jin, Zhan-Qiang; He, Wen; Wu, Dong-Fang; Lin, Mei-Ying; Jiang, Hua-Tang (2016). "Color Doppler Ultrasound in Diagnosis and Assessment of Carotid Body Tumors: Comparison with Computed Tomography Angiography". Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. 42 (9): 2106–2113. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2016.04.007. ISSN 0301-5629.
  3. Worsey, M.J.; Laborde, A.L.; Bower, T.; Miller, E.; Kresowik, T.F.; Sharp, W.J.; Corson, J.D. (1992). "An Evaluation of Color Duplex Scanning in the Primary Diagnosis and Management of Carotid Body Tumors". Annals of Vascular Surgery. 6 (1): 90–94. doi:10.1007/BF02000675. ISSN 0890-5096.
  4. Mirov, Andrew G. (1962). "Benign and Malignant Carotid Body Tumors". JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 181 (1): 13. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050270015003. ISSN 0098-7484.
  5. Davila, Victor J.; Chang, James M.; Stone, William M.; Fowl, Richard J.; Bower, Thomas C.; Hinni, Michael L.; Money, Samuel R. (2016). "Current surgical management of carotid body tumors". Journal of Vascular Surgery. 64 (6): 1703–1710. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2016.05.076. ISSN 0741-5214.
  6. Tong Y (August 2012). "Role of duplex ultrasound in the diagnosis and assessment of carotid body tumour: A literature review". Intractable Rare Dis Res. 1 (3): 129–33. doi:10.5582/irdr.v1.3.129. PMID 25343084.