Table of Contents  
CASE REPORT
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-46

Carotid body paraganglioma fine-needle aspiration cytology


Department of Pathology, Dr. BC Roy PGIPS, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Date of Web Publication15-May-2014

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arijit Majumdar
Vill.-Duilya, Charaktala P.O. - Andul, Howrah - 711 302, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2276-7096.132581

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  Abstract 

Carotid body tumor (CBT) is a Paraganglioma arising from the chief cells of the carotid body, which is situated at the bifurcation of the common carotid artery. We describe the fine needle aspiration cytology findings of one such tumor in a 45-year-old man. The aspirate was hemorrhagic with clusters of round to oval cells showing moderate  anisokaryosis [anisokaryosis is found to be used in standard textbook of cytology (like Orell, Gray, Bibo, Chiba's text book of cytology) to indicate the varion in size of the nucleus. In hematology 'anisocytosis' is used to indicate the variation in red cell size]. Delicate fibrous strands with spindle cells were observed within these clusters. Based on these cytologic findings and the location of the swelling, a diagnosis of CBT was made. The mass was excised and the diagnosis was confirmed on histopathological examination. Our case report adds to the existing literature on cytologic diagnosis of CBT, further attesting to its safety and accuracy.

Keywords: Carotid body tumor, fine-needle aspiration cytology, paraganglioma


How to cite this article:
Majumdar A, Jana A, Jana A, Biswas S. Carotid body paraganglioma fine-needle aspiration cytology. J Med Trop 2014;16:45-6

How to cite this URL:
Majumdar A, Jana A, Jana A, Biswas S. Carotid body paraganglioma fine-needle aspiration cytology. J Med Trop [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 May 22];16:45-6. Available from: http://www.jmedtropics.org/text.asp?2014/16/1/45/132581


  Introduction Top


Carotid body tumors (CBTs) are rare benign slow growing neoplasms also called paragangliomas. They arise from the carotid bodies located in the adventitia at the postero-medial aspect of carotid bifurcation. These carotid bodies have demonstrated a chemoreceptor role by modulating cardiovascular and respiratory functions in response to fluctuations in arterial pH, carbon dioxide and oxygen tension historically treated by excision. [1] CBTs are the most common paragangliomas of the head and neck region. We describe the fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) findings of one such tumor in a 45-year-old man.


  Case Report Top


A 45-year-old man came to the hospital in outpatient department with the complaints of slowly growing painless swelling in the right upper neck for past 20 years. The swelling was 4 cm × 3 cm in size, anterior to sternocleidomastoid, painless, gradually increasing in size. On examination, it was found to be freely moving horizontally but not above downwards, non-tender. It was not associated with fever, dyspnea, hoarseness of voice, difficulty in degglutition and any other abnormality. The patient was sent for FNAC suspecting the lesion as cervical lymph node swelling.

FNAC was done with a 23G needle. The aspirate was hemorrhagic with clusters of round to oval cells showing moderate anisokaryosis. Delicate fibrous strands with spindle cells were observed within these clusters. The tendency to form small acini is noted at places [Figure 1]. Based on these cytologic findings and the location of the swelling, a diagnosis of CBT (paraganglioma) was made.
Figure 1: FNAC smear showing oval to spindle shaped cells in clusters (LG ×10)

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The mass was excised and the diagnosis was confirmed on histopathological examination. Microscopy shows thin encapsulated lesion composed of neoplastic cells arranged in clusters and nests separated by thin vascular septa giving rise to Zelballen pattern. The cells are polygonal with eosinophilic granular cytoplasm, vesicular nucleus and clumped chromatin at places. No mitosis and necrosis is present-features are suggestive of paraganglioma [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Histology- paraganglioma (H and E stain, ×10)

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  Discussion Top


The carotid body is involved with the chemoreceptor control of respiration, blood pressure, and heart rate. Malignant growths in this area are classified as paragangliomas or chemodectomas. Carotid body tumors vary in incidence from 7% to 29% [2] of para-pharyngeal tumors. The incidence increases to 79% at high altitudes. [3] CBT can be unilateral or bilateral and 10% are familial. There is female gender preponderance noted 8.3:1 at high altitude as compared to a modest one of 2:1 at lower altitude. The average age of presentation is between 35 to 50 years. [4] Ours is a case of 45 year male. A history of uncontrolled hypertension, tachycardia, facial flushing or excessive sweating may point toward a catecholamine-secreting tumor. [5] These findings were absent in the patient in our study who presented with an asymptomatic painless mass gradually increasing in size. Differential diagnosis includes parotid neoplasm, branchial cleft cyst, lymphoma, metastatic carcinoma or schwannoma.

Radiological imaging is the mainstay of diagnosis and imaging modalities include Doppler ultrasound, contrast enhanced CT scan, MRI, MRA and carotid angiography. [2]

MRA is exceedingly being utilized in place of carotid arteriography. Carotid angiography is the gold standard for diagnosing these tumors and shows splaying of carotid vessels along with tumor blush called the Lyre's sign. [6] Currently, this invasive modality is used for detection of feeding vessel and pre-operative embolization. [7] Incisional biopsy is contraindicated in these tumors.

FNAC of these tumors can help in pre-operative diagnosis, particularly in those cases which were clinically unsuspected as CBT like this one.

These tumors may be multiple and familial (Hirsch et al. 1980, Grufferman et al. 1980). FNAC may be surely an alternative to multiple angiographies in these cases. [8]


  Conclusion Top


Ours is a case of carotid body paraganglioma primarily diagnosed by fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). Though there are many reports of carotid body tumor diagnosed by radiological imaging, the incidence of FNAC is rare. That may be due to close proximity of these tumors to the great vessels and cranial nerves. Moreover, ours case is of a male patient where the literatures prove the female preponderance of the tumor. FNAC coupled with the histopathology can really serve as a diagnostic modality for carotid body paraganglioma. Our case report adds to the existing literature on cytologic diagnosis of CBT, further attesting to its safety and accuracy.

 
  References Top

1.Ridge BA, Brewster DC, Darling RC, Cambria RP, LaMuraglia GM, Abbot WM. Familial carotid body tumors: Incidence and implications. Ann Vasc Surg 1993;7:190-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.M.M.H. Nuri, Abdul Hameed Siddiqui, Syed Afzal Ahmad.Carotid body Tumour. Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal 2005;3: 265-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Rodriguez-Cueveas S, Lopez-Garza J, Labastida-Almendaro S. Carotid body tumour in inhabitants of altitudes higher than 2000 meters above sea level. Head Neck 1998;20:374-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Akhter S, O'flynn P. Carotid body tumour - a case report. Otorhinolaryngology, Head Neck Surg 2000;4:64-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Strauss M, Nicholas GG, Abt AB, Harrison TS, Seaton JF. Malingnant catecholamine-secreting carotid body paragangliomas. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1983;91:315-21.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    
6.Das DK, Gupta AK, Chowdhury V, Satsangi DK, Tyagi S, Mohan JC, et al. Fine-needle aspiration diagnosis of carotid body tumor: Report of a case and review of experience with cytologic featuresin four cases. Diagn Cyopathol 1997;17:143-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Handa U, Bal A, Mohan H, Dass A. Parapharyngealparaganglioma: Diagnosis on fine-needle aspiration. Am J Otolaryngol 2005;26:360-1.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Mandal A. Fine needle aspiration cytology of paragangliomas of head and neck. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1995;47:319-21.  Back to cited text no. 8
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


This article has been cited by
1 Carotid Body Tumor Diagnosed by On-Site FNA: a Case Report
Puneeta Nagiredla,Santosh Tummidi,Manoj Kumar Patro
Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2019;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

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