Paragangliomas are rare, slow-growing tumors developing near blood vessels and nerves. A paraganglioma can develop in several areas of the body, like the neck and ear (this is called a glomus tumor) or the adrenal glands, stomach or chest. They are usually benign and don't spread to other parts of the body, but when they produce stress hormone or due to location and growth they can cause symptoms. Paraganglioma can be hereditary.


Symptoms of paraganglioma are depending of the location of the tumor, the growth and if the tumor produces stress hormones. Symptoms can vary in severity, but in general paraganglioma grow very slowly and upon onset don't cause any symptoms.

A paraganglioma in the head and neck area (glomus tumor) can however cause the following symptoms:

  • Hearing impairment
  • Hoarseness
  • Rining in the ears
  • Problems with swalloing
  • Dizziness
  • Facial paralysis


Treatment options for paraganglioma are diverse. Waiting and scanning is for glomus tumors usually the best option. Paraganglioma in other parts of the body that produce hormons usually are surgically removed, depending on tumor growth and the exact location of the tumor.

Within UNCH LUMC is specialised in diagnosing and treating paragangliomas. For more information about paragangliomas and the treatment options please check the LUMC website.

Ons advies