Technical Challenges in Temporal Bone Paraganglioma Surgery: a Clinical Review

  • Michael GleesonEmail author
OTOLOGY: Tumors of the Ear and Lateral Skull Base (G Danesi, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on OTOLOGY: Tumors of the Ear and Lateral Skull Base
  2. Topical Collection on OTOLOGY: Tumors of the Ear and Lateral Skull Base


Purpose of the Review

Temporal bone paragangliomas have always presented the otologist with their ultimate challenge. Surgical management is difficult, dangerous and demanding. It is also often associated with increased cranial nerve deficits and decreased quality of life for the patient. Management protocols for patients with temporal bone paragangliomas are changing as a result of advances in knowledge and technical developments. Multi-disciplinary care is now recommended for most patients with surgical intervention becoming restricted for the most difficult tumours.

Recent Findings

Previously considered unresponsive or resistant to radiotherapy, recent experiences using stereotactic radiosurgery techniques suggest that this is not correct. Tumour growth can be halted in some and slowed down in others. Advances in molecular medicine have defined a number of paraganglioma predisposition syndromes. Recognition of these syndromes is essential. Paragangliomas are now considered to be pioneer models of genetic-based personalised medical care.


This review aims to define the best current management plan for paragangliomas arising in, or involving, the temporal bone. It alerts surgeons to critical phases of surgical technique.


Temporal bone paragangliomas Susceptibility genes Inheritance patterns Stereotactic radiosurgery Surgical management 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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  21. Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus Professor of Skull Base Surgery and Otorhinolaryngology, King’s College London and The Institute of NeurologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.King’s and St Thomas’ HospitalsThe National Hospital for Neurology and NeurosurgeryLondonUK

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