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A paraganglioma is a tumor that originates from cells called paraganglia found in the middle ear:
*Glomus tympanicum tumors are small sized tumors originating in the middle ear.
*Glomus jugulare arise from paraganglia in or around the jugular bulb, and as they grow they occlude this venous structure.

Diagnosis for Paraganglioma

Diagnosis of Glomus Tympanicum and Glomus Jugulare Tumors

These tumors are diagnosed by careful examination of the eardrum. The tip of the tumor can be seen through the translucent eardrum. The natural pulsations of the tumor can be suppressed by introducing positive air pressure in the ear canal. Usually, the entire perimeter of the tumor cannot be visualized. A CT scan and MRI scan are used to assess the extent of tumor involvement.

Oftentimes, a physician using a stethoscope placed over the ear can hear the pulsatile tinnitus.

Diagnosis of Carotid Body Tumors

A carotid body tumor is suspected if a pulsatile mass in the neck is observed. A CT, MRI, and angiography can define the extent of the mass.