Dopamine in paragangliomas of the glomus jugulare

Biagio Azzarelli, Suzanne Felten, Jans Muller, Richard Miyamoto, Valerie Purvin

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Abstract

Glomus jugulare tumors have the ability to synthesize, store, and secrete biogenic amines. Although the majority of these tumors remain endocrinologically silent, on rare occasions they present either as a pheochromocytoma or with a carcinoid syndrome. We report a 20-year-old male with two intracranial tumors: an intrasellar neoplasm and a glomus jugulare tumor. Catecholamine catabolites in the urine were not increased, and blood pressure was always normal. The pituitary tumor was an adenoma, immunostaining positive for prolactin. The second patient, a 29-year-old hypertensive male, with a glomus jugulare tumor, had increased vanillylmandelic-acid excretion. In both cases, the paraganglioma tumor cells contained numerous dense-core vesicles (125 to 380 nm in diameter) in electron microscopy, and showed intense fluorescence by the sucrose-potassium phosphate-glyoxylic acid method. Using high-performance liquid chromatography and microspectrofluorometry we were able to establish the presence of large amounts of dopamine in the cytoplasm of the tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-578
Number of pages6
JournalLaryngoscope
Volume98
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1988

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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