Clinical Research|Articles in Press

Association of Complications during and after Carotid Body Tumor Resection with Tumor Size and Distance to the Base of Skull

Published:March 08, 2023DOI:



      Depending on the size and location of the tumor, carotid body tumor (CBT) resection can come with various complications, mostly intraoperative bleeding, and cranial nerve injuries. In the present study, we aim to evaluate two fairly new variables, tumor volume, and distance to the base of the skull (DTBOS), with operative complications of carotid body tumor (CBT) resection.


      Patients who underwent carotid body tumor surgery in Namazi hospital from 2015 to 2019 were studied using standard databases. Tumor characteristics and distance to the base of the skull were measured via computed tomography or Magnetic resonance imaging. Outcomes, including intraoperative bleeding and cranial nerve injuries, along with perioperative data were collected.


      A total of 42 cases of CBT were evaluated with an average age of 53.21±12.8 and mostly female (85.7%). Based on Shamblin scoring, 2 (4.8%) were classified as group I, 25 (59.5%) as group II, and 15 (35.7%) as group III. The amount of bleeding significantly increased with an increase in the Shamblin scores (P=0.031; median: I: 45cc; II: 250cc, III: 400cc). Also, there was a significant positive correlation between the size of the tumor and the estimated amount of bleeding (Correlation Coefficient = 0.660; P<0.001), and also a significant reverse correlation with between bleeding and DTBOS (Correlation Coefficient= -0.345; P=0.025). During the follow-up of the patients, six (14.3%) had abnormalities in their neurological evaluation. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed the size of tumor cutoff level 32.7 cm3 (3.2cm radius) to be most predictive of post-op neurological complication with an area under the curve=0.83, sensitivity=83.3%, specificity=80.6%, a negative predictive value= 96.7%, and positive predictive value of 41.7%, and an accuracy of 81.0%. Furthermore, based on the predictive power of the models in our study, we demonstrated that a combination model including the tumor size, DTBOS, along with the Shamblin score had the most predictive power for neurological complications.


      By evaluating CBT size and distance to the base of the skull, paired with the use of the Shamblin classification, a better, more insightful understanding of possible risks and complications of CBT resection can be obtained, leading to deserved levels of patient care.


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