Surgery, radiotherapy or a combined modality for jugulotympanic paraganglioma of Fisch class C and D

Thijs T. G. Jansen*, Johannes H. A. M. Kaanders, Guus N. Beute, Henri J. L. M. Timmers, Henri A. M. Marres, Henricus P. M. Kunst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives To identify the risks associated with surgery, radiotherapy or a combined treatment approach for Fisch class C and D jugulotympanic paraganglioma, in order to develop an individualised approach for each patient depending on Fisch class, age, mutation presence, tumour size growth rate and presenting symptoms.

Design A retrospective multicenter cohort study with all patient records of patients with a head and neck paraganglioma in the Radboudumc, Nijmegen and the St. Elisabeth Hospital, Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Main outcome measures Local control, cranial nerve damage, complications, function recovery.

Results We found highest local control rates after tumour debulking with postoperative radiotherapy in case of residual tumour growth, referred to as the combined treatment group, (100%; n = 19), which was significantly higher than the surgical group (82%; n = 17; P = 0.00), but did not differ from the radiotherapy group (90%; n = 29). There were significantly less complications in the radiotherapy group, when compared to surgery (63 vs 27%; P = 0.002) and the combined group (44 vs 27%; P = 0.016). Furthermore,: using a logistic regression model, we found that pretreatment tumour growth was a negative predictor for post-treatment cranial nerve function recovery (OR = 50.178, P = 0.001), reducing the chance of symptom recovery (67.3% vs 35.7%) post-treatment.

Conclusions Radiotherapy should be the treatment of choice for the elderly. For younger patients, tumour debulking should be considered, with potential radiotherapy in case of residual tumour growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1572
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Otolaryngology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • debulking
  • jugulotympanic
  • paraganglioma
  • radiotherapy
  • surgery
  • HEAD

Cite this