Preoperative embolization of jugular paraganglioma tumors using particles is safe and effective

Ahmed Helal, Kunal Vakharia, Waleed Brinjikji, Matthew L. Carlson, Colin L.W. Driscoll, Jamie J. Van Gompel, Michael J. Link, Harry Cloft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Jugular paragangliomas represent a surgical challenge due to their vascularity and proximity to vital neurovascular structures. Preoperative embolization aids in reducing intraoperative blood loss, transfusion requirements, and improves surgical visualization. Several embolization agents have been used. Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PVA in pre-operative embolization of jugular paragangliomas. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients who underwent jugular paraganglioma resection with pre-operative embolization between 2000 and 2020 was performed. Pre-operative data including baseline patient and tumor characteristics were documented. Outcomes of preoperative embolization including extent of devascularization and post-embolization complications were recorded. Early and long-term postoperative outcomes were reported. Results: Twenty-nine patients met study criteria with a median age of 38 years. Average tumor size was 3.4±1.8 cm. The most commonly encountered arterial feeder was the ascending pharyngeal artery followed by the posterior auricular artery. More than 50% reduction in tumor blush was achieved in 25 patients (86.2%). None of the patients experienced new or worsening cranial neuropathy following embolization. Gross total or Near total resection was achieved in 13 patients (44.8%). A STR or NTR was chosen in these patients to preserve cranial nerve function or large vessel integrity. Average intraoperative estimated blood loss was 888 ml, 9 patients (31%) required intra-operative transfusion of blood products. Extent of resection and post-operative complications did not correlate with extent of devascularization. Conclusion: Pre-operative embolization of jugular paraganglioma tumors with PVA particles is an effective strategy with a high safety profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalInterventional Neuroradiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • embolization
  • glomus jugulare
  • jugular paraganglioma
  • temporal bone paraganglioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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