What is the definition of Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

A glomus tympanum tumor is a tumor of the middle ear and bone behind the ear (mastoid).

What are the alternative names for Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

Paraganglioma - glomus tympanum

What are the causes for Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

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 most often 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. In most cases, there are no known risk factors. Glomus tumors have been associated with changes (mutations) in a gene responsible for the enzyme succinate dehydrogenase (SDHD).

What are the symptoms for Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

Symptoms may include:

  • Hearing problems or loss
  • Ringing in the ear (pulsatile tinnitus)
  • Weakness or loss of movement in the face (facial nerve palsy)

What are the current treatments for Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

Glomus tympanum tumors are rarely cancerous and do not tend to spread to other parts of the body. However, treatment may be needed to relieve symptoms.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

People who have surgery tend to do well. More than 90% of people with glomus tympanum tumors are cured.

What are the possible complications for Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

The most common complication is hearing loss.

Nerve damage, which may be caused by the tumor itself or damage during surgery, rarely occurs. Nerve damage can lead to facial paralysis.

When should I contact a medical professional for Glomus Tympanum Tumor?

Call your health care provider if you notice:

  • Difficulty with hearing or swallowing
  • Problems with the muscles in your face
  • Pulsing sensation in your ear


Marsh M, Jenkins HA. Temporal bone neoplasms and lateral cranial base surgery. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 176.

Rucker JC, Thurtell MJ. Cranial neuropathies. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 104.

Zanotti B, Verlicchi A, Gerosa M. Glomus tumors. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 156.

  • Condition: Phosphaturic Mesenchymal Tumor (PMT) in Middle Ear
  • Journal: Medicine
  • Treatment Used: Radiotherapy and Vitamin D Supplementation
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a 55-year-old woman diagnosed with a phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor (PMT) treated with radiotherapy and vitamin D supplementation.
  • Condition: Head and Neck Paragangliomas
  • Journal: Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Treatment Used: Radiation and surgery
  • Number of Patients: 173
  • Published —
The study researched the return of head and neck paragangliomas after treatment.

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.