Management of Benign Head and Neck Tumors


avatar Mahyar Mohammadifard ORCID 1 , * , avatar Godratallah Naseh 2

Department of Radiology, Imam Reza Hospital, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, IR Iran
Department of Surgery, Imam Reza Hospital, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, IR Iran

how to cite: Mohammadifard M, Naseh G. Management of Benign Head and Neck Tumors. Innov J Radiol. 2014;11(30th Iranian Congress of Radiology):e21427.


Endovascular procedures for benign head and neck tumors include embolization, stenting, and balloon test occlusion. A transarterial (or endovascular) approach forms the mainstay of treatment for head and neck bleeding as well as for transarterial chemotherapy for head and neck neoplasms. A combination of percutaneous and transarterial approaches may be needed in the embolization of high-flow craniofacial vascular malformations (VMs) and hypervascular tumors. This is a review of the current clinical applications of a variety of percutaneous and endovascular interventional procedures of the extracranial head and neck. The tumors that require embolization in the head and neck most commonly include glomus tumors, angiofibromas, and meningiomas. Many other types of tumors that may also require preoperative embolization include the following: hypervascular metastases, esthesioneuroblastomas, schwannomas, rhabdomyosarcomas, plasmacytomas, chordomas, and hemangiopericytomas. The goal of tumor embolization is to selectively occlude the external carotid artery (ECA) feeders through intratumoral deposition of embolic material. The embolic agents in common use are polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), Embospheres (BioSphere Medical, Rockland, Mass), liquid embolic agents (glue, ethylvinyl alcohol copolymer [EVOH], or Onyx [ev3, Irvine, Calif]), gelatin sponge (Gelfoam; Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden), and coils. The embolization is ideally performed 24-72 hours before surgical resection to allow maximal thrombosis of the occluded vessels and prevent recanalization of the occluded arteries or formation of collateral arterial channels. Preoperative embolization is cost-effective and tends to shorten operation time by reducing blood loss and the period of recovery.

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