A glomus tympanum tumor is a tumor of the middle ear and bone behind the ear (mastoid).
Paraganglioma - glomus tympanum
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A glomus tympanum tumor grows in the temporal bone of the skull, behind the ear drum (tympanic membrane).
This area contains nerve fibers (glomus bodies) that normally respond to changes in body temperature or blood pressure.
These tumors usually occur late in life, around age 60 or 70, but they can appear at any age.
The cause of a glomus tympanum tumor is unknown. Usually, there are no known risk factors. Glomus tumors have been associated with changes (mutations) in a gene responsible for the enzyme succinate dehydrogenase (SDHD).
Marsh M, Jenkins H. Temporal bone neoplasms and lateral cranial base surgery. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2005:chap 162.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.