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Metastatic paraganglioma
  1. Daniela Harmsworth1,
  2. Andrew Mallia2,
  3. James DeGaetano3 and
  4. Paul John Cassar1
  1. 1Medicine, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  2. 2Radiology, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  3. 3Histopathology, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniela Harmsworth; daniela.balzan{at}


A man in his 70s, with a history of a glomus jugulare paraganglioma diagnosed 18 years ago, presented with an unprovoked deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The paraganglioma had been treated by radiotherapy, and yearly scans had not shown any progression since treatment. A sclerotic focus in L4 vertebral body was reported on a CT scan of the neck and trunk which was done to exclude a neoplastic process being the precipitating factor for the DVT. Nuclear imaging showed multiple areas of bony uptake, suggestive of metastases. A bone biopsy of the left femur resulted positive for metastatic paraganglioma. A monthly intramuscular injection of octreotide 30 mg was prescribed.

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Radiology

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  • Contributors DH wrote the case with guidance from PJC, JD and AM.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.