Head and Neck #3 – Long Case

Axial STIR

Axial T1

Where is the lesion?

Situated at the left common carotid artery bifurcation.

What is the lesion like?

Enhancing soft tissue tumor splaying the internal and external carotid arteries.

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Axial STIR

Axial T1

What MRI signal characteristics shows the lesion?

Hyperintense on the STIR with dark foci giving salt and pepper appearance. Hypointense on T1.

What is the differential diagnosis?

Carotid body tumor: glomus tumor or paraganglioma of the carotid body. It characteristically splays the internal and external carotid arteries.
Vagal schwannoma: tends to displace both arteries together to one side.
Glomus vagale: paraganglioma with the same signal characteristics as the carotid body paraganglioma but is located more superiorly at the skull base and may extend into the jugular foramen.

What is the most likely diagnosis?

Diagnosis: Carotid body tumor.

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