Lateral skull base surgery for glomus tumors: Long-term control

Academic Article


  • Objective: The age of modern microsurgery has made resection of glomus tumors with extensive skull base involvement possible. Resection of extensive lesions is not without risk of major complication or new cranial nerve deficit. Because glomus tumors are rare and slow growing, data reflecting recurrence risk after resection using modern skull base techniques are lacking. These factors complicate the accurate definition of efficacy of surgical resection and its functional cost. The object of this review is to determine the current incidence of major complications, the surgical cranial nerve deficit, the long-term control rate, and the recurrence risk in patients undergoing surgical resection of glomus jugulare tumors. Study Design: Retrospective case review. Setting: Private practice tertiary referral center. Patients and Interventions: One hundred seventy-six patients with glomus tumors underwent 182 lateral skull base resections between 1972 and 1998. Main Outcome Measures: Major complications, tumor recurrence, postoperative functional capacity, and factors affecting the incidence of each were assessed. Results: Complete surgical control was achieved in 85% of cases. There were nine cases of recurrence, for a recurrent rate of 5.5% (9/164). Cerebrospinal fluid leakage occurred in 4.5% of cases with intracranial extension. New deficits for cranial nerves IX, X, XI, and XII occurred in 39%, 25%, 26%, and 21% of cases, respectively. Satisfactory functional recovery was achieved in an overwhelming majority of cases. The mortality rate was 2.7% (5/182). Conclusions: Surgical resection of glomus tumors is established as an effective technique with good functional outcomes and long-term control.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jackson CG; McGrew BM; Forest JA; Netterville JL; Hampf CF; Glasscock ME
  • Start Page

  • 377
  • End Page

  • 382
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 3