Glomus Tumor

Glomus tumors, or paragangliomas, are uncommon tumors of the head and neck. There are two main types of glomus tumors that affect the ear and surrounding structures: Glomus tympanicum (middle-ear glomus tumors) and Glomus jugulare (jugular foramen tumors at the skull base). The most common presenting symptom from these tumors is hearing loss. Pulsatile tinnitus (pulsating sound in the ear) is also a common symptom. Glomus jugulare tumors can cause dysfunction of the lower cranial nerves. Diagnosis is typically made with a combination of high resolution CT and MRI scans. The decision for treatment of these tumors is made after a comprehensive discussion of the risks and benefits of each treatment approach.