Management and Clinical Outcomes of Carotid Body Tumors: Insights from a
Abstract Objective: Evaluate surgical outcomes of Carotid body tumors
(CBT), especially postoperative complications (PC) and the influence of
cranial nerve injuries (CNI) on patients’ quality of life (QoL). Design:
A prospective follow-up study (2004-2020) utilizing a database from
Charité University Hospital and follow-up questionnaires EORTC QLQ-C30
and QLQ-H&N43. Setting: A single-institution study. Participants:
Patients with histopathologically confirmed CBT and an ICD code 44.6.
Main Outcome Measures: Tumor characteristics, complications, and
postoperative QoL (EORTC QLQ-C30, QLQ-H&N43) Results: From 40
identified CBT patients, 55% were females with an average age of 51.1.
47.5% tumors were right-sided; 70% presented with painless neck
swelling. 12.5% had a Succinate dehydrogenase mutation. Average tumor
volume was 133 cm³. CNIs affected 45%. Preoperative embolization (PE)
was done in 47.5%, not reducing PC (p=0.98). No association was found
between tumor size and PC: gender (p=0.7), age (p=0.847), co-morbidities
(p=0.13). Average stay was 8.07 days. Patients without complications had
better QoL (M=92.59 vs. M=69.44, p=.019); those without CNIs also had
better QoL (p=.068). Males had superior QoL scores (p=.05). PC affected
functioning, especially social functioning (p = .05) and CNX injury (p=
.041). Conclusion: CBT surgery significantly affects nerve function and
QoL. The results present the need for effective postoperative care,
monitoring and management of complications to boost patient outcomes.
Gender differences in QoL after CBT surgery merit further investigation
into possible physiological and environmental factors.