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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.

Etiology for Paraganglioma

There are certain types of cells called paraganglia that are found within the middle ear, on the surface of the inner ear, and on the surface of the jugular bulb. Other locations for paraganglia include the abdomen and the carotid bulb in the neck. The function of these paraganglia is the detection of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood. It is thought that a mutation within the genetic makeup of a paraganglia cell causes uncontrolled growth, eventually leading to a tumor. The cause for the mutation remains unclear.