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Disease Profile

Glomus jugulare tumors

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


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Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Glomus tumor; Paraganglioma glomus jugulare


Rare Cancers


A glomus jugulare tumor develops when cells in nerves near the temporal bone of the skull begin to rapidly increase in number, forming a mass. This tumor gets its name from the nerves, called glomus bodies, and their location in a small opening in the temporal bone, known as the jugulare foramen. Glomus jugulare tumors are included in a group of tumors called paragangliomas.[1] They are usually benign, meaning cells in the tumor are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms of a glomus jugulare tumor include dizziness, difficulty swallowing, hearing issues, pain, or weakness in the muscles of the face. Treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor, sometimes followed by radiation therapy.[2]


The exact cause of glomus jugulare tumors is unknown. Most glomus jugulare tumors develop by chance in individuals who have no family history of this condition. However, in some families, multiple relatives are affected by glomus jugulare tumors, which indicates there may be an inherited risk factor (genetic predisposition) that increases the chance of developing this disease.[1] Changes (mutations) in the SDHD gene have been identified as an inherited risk factor in some glomus jugulare tumors.[2]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Glomus jugulare tumors. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Pluta RM. Glomus Tumors. Medscape Reference. September 2012; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/251009-overview. Accessed 1/28/2013.
        2. PubMed Health. Glomus jugulare tumor. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. March 2012; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002600/. Accessed 1/28/2013.

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