Benign tumors

Topic Completed: 1 May 2007

Minor changes: 27 September 2019

Copyright: 2007-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Paraganglioma heart

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 298
Page views in 2020 to date: 117
Cite this page: Pernick N. Paraganglioma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/hearttumorparaganglioma.html. Accessed July 7th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Also called extra adrenal pheochromocytoma (if secretes catecholamines) or chemodectoma (at carotid body)
  • Either functional (secretes catecholamine, associated with hypertension, headache, flushing) or nonfunctional
  • Very rare
  • Left atrium or near aortic root, where intrinsic cardiac ganglia (chromaffin cells) are located
Case reports
  • Excision or transplantation
  • 5 - 10% recur or metastasize after excision
Gross description
  • 5 - 7 cm, unencapsulated; on epicardium but may infiltrate adjacent cardiac tissue
Gross images

Contributed by. Dr. Debra Zynger
Missing Image

Periaortic paraganglioma

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Unencapsulated, organoid appearance (zellballen/nests of cells) surrounded by sustentacular cells
  • No necrosis, no/minimal mitotic figures
Microscopic (histologic) images

Nested cells in organoid pattern

Paraganglia cells within right atrium (normal)

Images hosted on other servers:

Pigmented tumor

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Norepinephrine-type granules, few epinephrine-type granules
Additional references
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