BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.01.2012.5517
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Metastasis of carcinoma of the lung to a carotid body paraganglioma

  1. James Moor2
  1. 1Cellular Pathology Department, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2ENT Department, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Sunderland, UK
  3. 3Pathology Department, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Sunderland, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yvonne Bury, yvonne.bury{at}


Tumour-to-tumour metastasis is a rare phenomenon, but has been described in the literature in just over 100 cases. It can be particularly puzzling for the reporting pathologists, when encountered unexpectedly in a tumour showing abrupt transition from the usual morphology to another unusual pattern. The literature reports a variety of combinations with carcinoma-to-carcinoma being the most common; and renal cell carcinomas appear to the most common recipient tumours with common donor tumours being breast, lung and renal cell carcinomas. The authors report a case of poorly-differentiated lung carcinoma metastasising into a carotid body paraganglioma. Our case is unique and in our knowledge the first described case of carotid body paraganglioma with metastasis from a lung primary. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of this interesting biological phenomenon in this combination.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article