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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Glomus jugulare tumors

Other Names for this Disease
  • Glomus tumor
  • Paraganglioma - glomus jugulare
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What is a glomus jugulare tumor?

What causes a glomus jugulare tumor?

What is a glomus jugulare tumor?

A glomus jugulare tumor develops when cells in nerves near the temporal bone of the skull begin to rapidly increase in number, forming a mass.  This tumor gets its name from the nerves, called glomus bodies, and their location in a small opening in the temporal bone, known as the jugulare foramen.  Glomus jugulare tumors are included in a group of tumors called paragangliomas.[1]  They are usually benign, meaning cells in the tumor are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body.  Symptoms of a glomus jugulare tumor include dizziness, difficulty swallowing, hearing issues, pain, or weakness in the muscles of the face.  Treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor, sometimes followed by radiation therapy.[2]
Last updated: 1/28/2013

What causes a glomus jugulare tumor?

The exact cause of glomus jugulare tumors is unknown.  Most glomus jugulare tumors develop by chance in individuals who have no family history of this condition.  However, in some families, multiple relatives are affected by glomus jugulare tumors, which indicates there may be an inherited risk factor (genetic predisposition) that increases the chance of developing this disease.[1]  Changes (mutations) in the SDHD gene have been identified as an inherited risk factor in some glomus jugulare tumors.[2]
Last updated: 1/28/2013

  1. Pluta RM. Glomus Tumors. Medscape Reference. September 2012; Accessed 1/28/2013.
  2. PubMed Health. Glomus jugulare tumor. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. March 2012; Accessed 1/28/2013.