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Metallic taste related to glomus jugulare tumor

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I had surgery to remove a glomus jugulare tumor on the 15th April. Since surgery I have had tinnitus (ringing) that has become slightly better with time but shows no sign of abating. I had a nerve graft to my facial nerve and now have paralysis on the right side. I now have a metallic taste much like the taste I had when the nerve was initially damaged! Is the tinnitus likely to go away and is the metallic taste anything to worry about? Thanks

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Hello, Glomus jugulare Tumor is a rare, slow growing, very vascular tumors which arise within the jugular foramen of the temporal bone. They occur in the carotid body, vagus nerve, middle ear, can occur in other areas but it is quite rare. Sometimes it can run in families. These tumors often go unnoticed and delay in diagnosis. With the result at the time of diagnosis they may be large. It is the most common tumor of the middle ear and second most common tumor of the temporal bone. More commonly occurs on the left side. Symptoms associated with this condition are Deafness, tinnitus, vertigo, dysphagia, facial nerve palsy, and hypoglossal nerve palsy or Horner s syndrome, Ataxia, headache and pain in the ear. There may be hearing loss, hypertension, and tachycardia. Other conditions associated with this tumor are Pheochromocytoma, parathyroid adenoma, Thyroid carcinoma, and neurofibromatosis. These tumors are classified into 4 stages namely grade A, B, C, D.I would suggest you to get a set of investigations like Audiometry, plain X ray (skull), CT scanning, MRI, Arteriography, and screening for catecholamines. Management is usually done by surgical resection for young and healthy patients with functional cranial nerve deficits. Beta-blockers may be required for a few weeks if catecholamines increase blood pressure. Surgical approach depends on the stage of the tumor. Large tumors involve risks and complications and the use of radiotherapy. Complications include nerve damage, whereas survival rate is good. Prognosis depends on development of cranial nerve palsies that is more cosmetic than debilitating. In regard to your question, the metallic taste, which you are experiencing, may be due to medication. Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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