Document Type


Publication Date

July 2007


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of gastrointestinal surgery : Official journal of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 11(10):1351-4, October 2007. The published version is available at, © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media


Gangliocytic paraganglioma is a rare tumor, which occurs nearly exclusively in the second portion of the duodenum. Generally, this tumor has a benign clinical course, although rarely, it may recur or metastasize to regional lymph nodes. Only one case with distant metastasis has been reported. We present a case of duodenal gangliocytic paraganglioma treated first by local resection followed by pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy. Examination of the first specimen revealed focal nuclear pleomorphism and mitotic activity, in addition to the presence of three characteristic histologic components: epithelioid, ganglion, and spindle cell. In the subsequent pancreaticoduodenectomy specimen, there was no residual tumor identified in the periampullary area, but metastatic gangliocytic paraganglioma was present in two of seven lymph nodes. This case report confirms the malignant potential of this tumor. We review the published literature on gangliocytic paragangliomas pursuing a malignant course. We conclude that surgical therapy of these neoplasms should not be limited to local resection, as disease recurrence, lymph node involvement, and rarely distant metastasis may occur.

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