To describe a unique presentation of a predominantly extracranial glomus faciale tumour. To discuss the role of imaging in the differential diagnosis and evaluation of a hypervascular parotid mass. To review the previous literature concerning the glomus faciale tumour.
A 54-year-old woman presented with a six-month history of facial weakness, pain and a parotid mass. Ultrasound revealed a hypervascular parotid mass and pre-operative core biopsy suggested a paraganglioma. Computed tomography defined its deep extent and demonstrated involvement of the petrous temporal bone along the descending portion of the facial nerve canal with a pattern of permeative lucency. A tumour was surgically removed which arose from the facial nerve from the second genu to the proximal divisions within the parotid gland and histology confirmed a paraganglioma.
A facial nerve glomus faciale tumour should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a hypervascular parotid mass and may present in a predominantly extracranial location. Computed tomography will prove helpful in such a case in order to limit the differential diagnosis and to define the extent of skull base involvement.
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