A glomus tympanum tumor is a tumor of the middle ear and bone behind the ear (mastoid).
Paraganglioma - glomus tympanum
A glomus tympanum tumor grows in the temporal bone of the skull, behind the eardrum (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.
Ashutosh Kacker, MD, FACS, Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Attending Otolaryngologist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Oglvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.