Carotid body tumor pathophysiology
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The carotid body is an ellipsoid-like structure located in the adventitia or periadventitial tissue of the bifurcation of the common carotid artery. This organ is a chemo-receptor and its function is the monitoring of arterial blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The exact pathogenesis of carotid body tumor is not fully understood. however, the overgrowth of chemoreceptor paraganglioma cells in the carotid body leads to the formation of carotid body tumor. Recent litreture has suggested the role of several germline mutations in the pathogenesis of this tumor. Also, the hyperplastic form of the tumor has been associated with conditions that causes chronic hypoxia.
- The carotid body is an ellipsoid-like structure located in the adventitia or periadventitial tissue of the bifurcation of the common carotid artery.
- The normal carotid body weighs less than 15 mg and measures between 3 to 5 mm.
- This structure innervated by the hearing branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve, however, the carotid body is in close proximity of a majority of important nerves.
- The blood supply to the carotid body is provided by ascending pharyngeal artery, which is the branch of the external carotid artery.
- The carotid body is a chemo-receptor and its function is the monitoring of arterial blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
- This organ is sensitive to the reduction of oxygen partial pressure in the blood which results in reflexive activation of the autonomic nervous system and the resultant increase in the
- Carotid body tumor is a neuroendocrine neoplasm originating from carotid body.
- The overgrowth of chemoreceptor paraganglioma cells in the carotid body leads to the formation of carotid body tumor.
- Carotid body tumors are normally located in the medial aspect adventitia of the carotid bifurcation.
- Carotid body tumor occurs sporadicly in 85% to 90% of the cases.
- Recent litreture has suggested the role of several germline mutations in the pathogenesis of this tumor.
- It has been explained that the hyperplastic form of the tumor is associated with chronic hypoxia due to such as:
- The tumor may be bilateral in fewer than 5% of the sporadic cases.
- The tumor may be familial in the rest 10% to 15%.
- The familial form of the tumor is associated with a mutation in a gene located on 11q23.
- The disease inheritance is through autosomal dominance.
- The following genes has been linked to an increased incidence of paraganglioma including carotid body tumor:
- Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
- Neurofibromatosis type I (von Recklinghausen disease)
- MEN 2A
- MEN 2B
- Carney's triad which consists of:
- Well-circumscribed with psudocapsule
- The size of the tumor varies greatly and it may be as large as 10 cm
- The cutting surface is solid with a smooth, rubbery texture
- On microscopic histopathological analysis, carotid body tumor composed of:
- The characteristic finding of this tumor is:
- The tumor is highly vascular.
- Although there is no well-accepted histologic criteria for the diagnosis of malignant tumors, worrisome histologic features include:
- Type 1 cells, sustentacular cells, are stained by:
- Type 2 cells, cheif cell, are stained by:
- The tumor cells may also be positive for other markers of neuroendocrine differentiation such as:
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