Glomus tumor

Glomus tumors are slow-growing, usually delicate tumors in the carotid arteries (essential blood vessels in your neck), the middle ear, or the area below the middle ear (jugular bulb). Glomus tumors are most often delicate; however, they can affect crucial injury to encompassing tissues as they grow.

What is Glomus Tumour?

A glomus growth (otherwise called a “singular glomus cancer, strong glomus cancer,”) is an uncommon neoplasm emerging from the glomus body and mostly found under the nail, on the fingertip, or in the foot 670. They represent under 2% of all delicate tissue cancers.

  • Most of the glomus growths are harmless, however, they can likewise show dangerous provisions.

  • Glomus cancers were first depicted by Hoyer in 1877 while the first complete clinical Glomus growth was likewise the name once (and mistakenly) utilized for cancer currently called a paraganglioma.

  • Histologically, glomus growths are comprised of an afferent arteriole, anastomotic vessel, and gathering venueGlomus growths are altered smooth muscle cells that control the thermoregulatory capacity of dermal glomus bodies.

  • As expressed over, these injuries ought not to be mistaken for paragangliomas, which were previously additionally called glomus growths in now-old-fashioned clinical utilization. Glomus growths don’t emerge from glomus cells, however, paragangliomas do.

  • Familial glomangiomas have been related to an assortment of erasures in the GLMN (glomalin) quality, and are acquired in an autosomal prevailing way, with deficient penetrance.

Symptoms of glomus tumors

Paraganglioma manifestations rely upon where the growth is found. Growth in the carotid veins (carotid body cancer) can cause:

  1. A mass in the neck

  2. Hoarseness

  3. Trouble swallowing

A tumor in the neck (glomus vagal tumor) can cause:

  • Weakness or paralysis in part of the face like facial palsy

  • A mass in the neck

  • Sometimes cancer influences the body’s norepinephrine, or stress chemical, levels. On the off chance that this occurs, side effects might include:

  • Anxiety

  • Headaches

  • High blood pressure

Diagnosis of glomus tumors

Firstly you’ll meet with your primary care physician for an actual test and to examine your indications. Then, at that point, your primary care physician might arrange imaging tests , like an X-ray, CT sweep, or angiogram.

Treatment options for glomus tumors

On the off chance that you have glomus growth, your Aurora neurosurgical group, including the specialists at the Aurora Neuroscience Development Organization (ANII), will work with you to decide the best treatment for your necessities.

  1. Your group might suggest a blend of therapies for glomus growths, including a medical procedure and radiation.

  2. Your neurosurgeon might play out the Extended Endonasal Approach (EEA), a negligibly obtrusive method wherein the growth is eliminated through the nasal entries, bringing about no entry points, a more limited medical clinic stay, and quicker recuperation

Summary :blue_book:

Glomus growth is a harmless mesenchymal neoplasm containing under 2% of delicate tissue cancers. It is made out of cells looking like altered smooth muscle cells of the typical glomus body. Even though glomus cancers are uncommon neoplasms, clinical misdiagnosis of a large number of these injuries as hemangiomas or venous distortions makes a precise appraisal of their real predominance troublesome.

History of Glomus Tumor

Glomus tumors are uncommon delicate tissue neoplasms of the neuromyoarterial glomus body that record roughly 2% of all delicate tissue growths in the limits.

  1. They ordinarily present in grown-ups (ages 20-40 y) as little, blue-red papules or ■■■■■ of the distal limits, with most cases including subungual locales.

  2. These cancers are distinctively difficult, regularly making paroxysmal agony accordingly temperature changes (particularly cold) or tension.

  3. Glomus cancer is an uncommon harmless delicate tissue neoplasm introducing in the second to fourth decade of life and starts from the glomus body.

  4. It represents 1-5% of all delicate tissue cancers of the furthest point. A glomus body is a part of the dermis layer of the skin, engaged with thermoregulation.

  5. The glomus body comprises an arterio-venous shunt encompassed by a case of connective tissue and is found in expanded sums in the fingers and toes. The glomus body shunts blood away from the skin Surface during cold temperatures in this manner forestalling heat misfortune and causes most extreme hotness to stream to the skin in a warm climate.

  6. Glomus cancers present as agonizing under 2cm, blue-red branch-able papules or ■■■■■ in the profound dermis or subcutaneous fat most generally on the fingers and toes and under the nail plate.

  7. They are made out of glomus cells, vasculature, and smooth muscle cells. During cold temperatures or strain changes, these cancers evoke extreme paroxysmal torment and distress to the patient.

Diagnosing findings glomus tumors

Two useful findings for diagnosing glomus tumors especially those under the nails are :

  1. Love test

  2. Hildreth sign

The Love Test is the place where one applies strain to the region with a pencil tip or pinhead and extreme torment ought to be inspired.

:small_blue_diamond: The Hildreth sign is a decrease in agony and delicacy with the adoration test when utilizing a tourniquet to prompt transient ischemia.

:small_blue_diamond: The reason for the expansion of glomus cells in Glomus growth is obscure anyway there have been hypotheses that injury initiates singular subungual glomus cancers.

:small_blue_diamond: Glomus growths that are skin-hued or situated in the nail framework have a higher frequency of repeat.

:small_blue_diamond: The corrective treatment of decision for suggestive singular glomus cancers is all out careful extraction to limit the pace of agonizing repeat.

:small_blue_diamond: There have been reports that laser and sclerotherapy might be compelling at times of singular glomus cancers notwithstanding, complete extraction is the most ideal choice.

:small_blue_diamond: For subungual cancers, preoperative imaging contemplates with shading Doppler ultrasonography and attractive reverberation gives data on growth size, shape, and exact anatomic area.

:small_blue_diamond: They are treated with all-out nail separation followed by extraction.

:small_blue_diamond: In situations where there are numerous glomus growths, an extraction might be more troublesome due to the huge number of injuries.

:small_blue_diamond: In this way, there have been a few examinations that show the utilization of argon, carbon dioxide, or Nd: YAG laser treatment or sclerotherapy with hypertonic saline or sodium tetradecyl sulfate is a superior decision of treatment.

Types of Glomus Tumors

Glomus tumors of the head and neck are slow-growing, benign tumors. There are two types:

  1. Glomus Tympanicum

  2. Glomus jugulare

Glomus tympanicum

Glomus tympanicum tumors are cancers called paragangliomas that emerge in the center ear (behind the eardrum). These cancers are quite often harmless. Side effects normally include hearing one’s heartbeat and hearing misfortune.

Causes of Glomus tympanicum

The reason for a glomus jugulare growth is obscure. Much of the time, there are no realized danger factors. Glomus cancers have been related to changes (transformations) in a quality liable for the chemical succinate dehydrogenase (SDHD).

Symptoms of tympanicum tumor

Bleeding from one ear

  • Hearing loss

  • Pulsing or ringing in one ear

Glomus jugulare

The Glomus jugular is a lethargic developing paraganglioma of the head and neck that emerges inside the jugular foramen and is confined to the jugular fossa. Paragangliomas are harmless and are begun from neural peak subsidiaries, known as the paraganglia.

Symptoms of glomus jugulare tumor

Bleeding from one ear

  1. Difficulty swallowing

  2. Ear pain

  3. Hearing loss

  4. Shoulder droop

  5. Treatment of Glomus jugulare

The medical procedure is the therapy of decision for glomus jugulare growths. Nonetheless, radiation treatment, especially stereotactic radiosurgery (eg, Gamma Blade medical procedure), has been displayed to furnish great cancer development control with an okay of therapy-related cranial nerve injury.

Symplastic Glomus Tumor


Glomus cancers showing atomic pleomorphism with no other harmful components have been characterized as symplastic glomus growths. This sort of glomus growth is infrequently experienced. One more instance of symplastic glomus cancer is depicted in this review. A 37-year-elderly person alluded to the clinic with the objection of an obvious delicate knob on the fourth fingertip of her left hand.

  • The sore had been available for about a year and exacerbation of delicacy upon cold openness was prominent.

  • It was a 0.5 cm very much surrounded sore with a round to cuboidal epithelioid cells showing high-grade atomic pleomorphism.

  • Homes of cells more uniform fit and showing finished off core illustrative of commonplace glomus growth could likewise be noticed.

  • Immunohistochemical study showed articulation of smooth muscle actin, caldesmon, and vimentin. The ki-67 naming file was imperceptible.

  • A venture of growth cells was shown by type IV collagen. As opposed to its abnormal cell morphology, symplastic glomus growth clinically acts harmless and separates it from threatening glomus cancer just as other essential or metastatic dangerous cancers.


A 43-year-old Korean female was introduced to the muscular facility with a long-term history of agony at the tip of her left non-prevailing thumb. S he had various visits to various medical services suppliers before, with different determinations reported in her clinical records to incorporate neuroma, radiculitis, Raynaud’s marvel, and change response. There were no foundational grumblings.

  1. The patient grumbled of sharp agony at whatever point pressure was applied to the volar tip of her thumb during the exercises of everyday living.

  2. Albeit the patient denied night agony or cold affectability, she expressed that she could feel a “grainy” mass at the tip of the digit.

  3. The actual assessment uncovered no staining of the digit and the nail seemed ordinary. Albeit a particular mass couldn’t be valued by the analyst, the propagation of torment was accomplished by touching the focal space of the mash.

  4. The radiographs and routine research facility results were inside typical cutoff points.

  5. The X-ray acquired uncovered a round mass at the tip of the distal phalanx.

  6. The sore shows up as a dim, clear-cut mass on T1 weighted pictures and as a splendid difference improving mass on T1 post.

  7. The little size (3 mm x 5 mm) and the circular idea of the sore were handily illustrated.

  8. A volar way to deal with the thumb was made, and extraction was performed. A round earthy mass estimating 5 mm was distinguished, without gross encompassing tissue anomaly.

  9. The subsequent histopathology was steady with the pre-usable finding of glomus growth.

At follow-up, the patient reported complete relief of her pre-operative symptoms.

Definition of Mesenchymal tumor

The mesenchymal tumor is made out of altered smooth muscle cells emerging from the glomus.

Fundamental elements

Dominatingly cutaneous, generally normal in the subungual locale of the finger yet may happen anyplace.

  1. Normally harmless with extremely uncommon dangerous variations

  2. A mix of glomus cells, smooth muscle cells, and vasculature

  3. Round, finished off cores with amphophilic to eosinophilic stroma encompassing fanning, narrow estimated vessels

  4. Positive for SMA, MSA, calponin, h-caldesmon, collagen type IV; negative for cytokeratin and S100


The name differs based on morphology:

  1. Glomus tumor

  2. Glomangioma

  3. Glomangiomyoma

  4. Glomangiomatosis

  5. Harmful glomus cancers are likewise called glomangiosarcoma

Glomus cancer is glomus faciale, glomus jugulare, glomus tympanicum, glomus vagal, and so on are paragangliomas.

:small_blue_diamond: Glomangiopericytoma might be utilized for glomus cancers with noticeable hemangiopericytoma vasculature;

:small_blue_diamond: Nonetheless, these growths are not the same as the pericytic site explicit sinonasal hemangiopericytoma**

ICD coding

D21.10: Other benign neoplasms of connective and other soft tissue


Tumor Epidemiology
Estimated incident 1.6% of soft tissue tumors (Surg Gynecol Obstet in 1963)
Age 20 - 40
Gender Both male and female
Site The subungual region, upper extremity (62%), Described throughout the body
Other sites Trunk wall (11%)

Internal (11%)

Lower extremity (9%)

Head and neck (7%)|


Tumor Pathophysiology
Tumor-associated NF1
Effect Loss of neurofibromin in glomus cells leads to activation of the RAS-MAPK pathway
Glomus tumors caused by inactivating mutations in the globulin gene expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (Am J Hum Genet in 2013
NOTCH driven Translocation with the MIR143 promoter


Tumor Etiology
Glomus body Suquet-Hoyer(regulates heat in the skin and is surrounded by layers of epithelioid, SMA+ glomus cells
Cold temperature causes Relaxation of the glomus cells
Effect Open the anastomosis and divert blood away from the capillary network to conserve body heat


Paroxysms Eruptions of agony emanating away from the sore, regularly messed up with regards to the size of the neoplasm .

  1. Agony can be evoked by changes in temperature or material incitement

  2. Can be joined by hypesthesia, muscle decay, or osteoporosis

  3. Some glomus cancers of the fingers and toes are related to NF1 (J Prescription Genet 2010)

Radiology description


MRI is clear cut mass, dim on T1 and splendid, contrast improving on T2 or T1 post gadolinium fat immersion pictures.

MR angiography

MR angiography is a solid upgrade in the blood vessel stage and cancer become flushed, which expansions in size in the deferred stage


Ultrasound is strong, hypoechoic mass with conceivably related disintegration of the basic bone (Radiographics 2010)


Radiography may show thinning of the cortical bone in subungual tumors.

Details about Glomus tumors

Glomus growths, as first depicted by Masson in 1924, are uncommon, harmless, vascular neoplasms emerging from the glomus body, which is a contractile neuromyoarterial structure found in the reticular dermis, liable for changing circulatory strain and temperature by managing bloodstream inside the cutis.

:small_blue_diamond: Even though they can create in any piece of the body, they usually do as such in the furthest points, most often in subungual regions. Roughly 10% of these growths happen on the mash of the distal phalanx.

:small_blue_diamond: The exemplary set of three manifestations, paroxysmal torment, limited hyperalgesia, and affectability to cold temperature are significant demonstrative elements. Clinical components are semi-secret, which clarifies an incessant symptomatic postponement.

:small_blue_diamond: The commitment of radiological evaluation is examined, the demonstrative being affirmed by histology. We report here an uncommon instance of a glomus growth situated in a phenomenal area, with the patient introducing a run-of-the-mill group of three indications.

This is the principal case that presents dermoscopic parts of this cancer in a, particularly uncommon area.

Case demonstration

A 54-year-old, right-gave jobless Moroccan Berber lady from a metropolitan region announced an individual clinical history of discontinuous epigastric torment without a background marked by diabetes or persistent infection, nor any unique psychosocial foundation, and with a familial history of hypersensitive rhinitis.

  • She gave a 10-year history of continuously exceptional agony, cold affectability, and extreme delicacy to palpation of the mash of her left little finger, with no gross irregularities of her fingers, and no past injury history.

  • The aggravation expanded when her digit was presented to cold. Besides, the tip was exorbitantly touchy to contact, and her aggravation expanded around evening time.

  • She had seen an essential consideration specialist, with no authoritative analysis. Additionally, she announced periodic admission of omeprazole for irregular stomach torment.

  • She had no set of experiences of dynamic or uninvolved tobacco smoking or ■■■■■■ admission. She additionally had no previous intercession.

  • She alluded to our area of expertise for careful extraction with histopathological assessment.

  • A clinical assessment showed a very much arranged, apyretic, and eupneic patient, with ordinary cardiovascular recurrence and standard pulse, giving an excruciating subcutaneous knob of roughly 1.5 cm, of firm consistency and pinkish-red tinge, streaked with different telangiectasias on the mash of the distal phalanx of her left little finger.

  • Spellbound contact dermoscopy instigated fringe getting free from the rosy shading, unveiling a yellow to the white foundation, with different telangiectasias on a superficial level.

  • A neurological assessment gave no indications of paresthesia or hypoesthesia in the space of the growth, nor a ways off, with a saved strong and neurological capacity; an overall assessment showed no other anomaly.

Conference about glomus tumor

Here we present an uncommon instance of a histologically affirmed glomus cancer of the mash, which is a strange site of such growths, with a 10-year history of extraordinary torment, cold affectability, and serious delicacy to palpation of the mash.

  • Through this case, we stress the dermoscopic elements of this growth in such an area, which are deficient in the writing, and we detail histological perspectives and usable systems.

  • These cancers, otherwise called Barré–Masson disorder, are uncommon harmless hamartomas that emerge from the typical glomus contraption, situated in subcutaneous tissue.

  • They were first announced by Wood in 1812, however were not appended to a glomic beginning until 1924 by Masson. Glomus bodies are available all through the body yet profoundly moved in the tips of digits, particularly under the nail.

  • Along these lines, the cancers are typically in the subungual region.** Accordingly, finding a glomus cancer in the mash of the distal finish of our patient’s finger, as introduced here, rather than under the nail bed, is uncommon.

  • The etiology of glomus cancers is obscure and it could be identified with sex, age, injury, or legacy.

  • A few creators have suggested that a shortcoming in the construction of a glomus body could prompt receptive hypertrophy after injury. Such danger factors were not announced by our patient.

  • It has a variable advancement time among days and many years; it is a troublesome growth to analyze because of its extraordinariness, which legitimizes long postponements in analysis and the foundation of treatment.

  • Glomus cancers are classified as one or the other singular or various, as indicated by their clinical show.

  • The most regular is the lone kind, which influences more females in middle age, as in the current case, with the transcendent area on the fingers, all the more usually in the distal phalanges. Of all glomus cancers, 75% are subungual in the area.

  • The mash of the distal phalanx is an extremely uncommon area for glomus cancer. It shows up as a little, marginally raised, pale blue or pinkish-red, difficult knob, as found in our patient.

Albeit the reason for torment in glomus, growth isn’t unmistakably perceived, a few theories have been proposed: the containers of the cancers render them delicate to pressure; bountiful pole cells in the glomus growths discharge substances like heparin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, and histamine, making receptors tension or cold incitement to be touchy; and extreme predominance over the nerve of various non-myelinated nerve filaments that enter into glomus growths.

  1. The dermoscopic appearance of glomus growths can be extremely unpretentious. In subungual growths, nail plate dermoscopy can discover the presence of direct vascular constructions, while extradigital cancers can uncover a homogeneous white design and fringe telangiectasias.

  2. In any case, regularly these designs can be discrete or missing. The finding can, in this way, be not entirely obvious. Supposedly, this is the primary case detailing the dermoscopic elements of a finger mash glomus cancer.

Important information about the diagnosis of glomus tumor

Diagnosis of glomus tumor should be made through the set of experiences and clinical assessment of a patient. Regularly, it shows with an exemplary set of three indications: excessive touchiness to cool, increased pinprick affectability, and paroxysmal torment.

Different indications incorporate unmistakable subungual staining, hypoesthesia, decay, osteoporosis in the sore, and autonomic unsettling influence like Horner disorder.

  • Notwithstanding the traditional show, there are three valuable tests that assistance in diagnosing these cancers: Love’s pin test, Hildreth’s test, and cold affectability test.

  • The chilly affectability test was positive for our situation, which affirmed the conclusion of a glomus growth.

  • Extra tests like a basic X-beam, registered tomography (CT), angiography, and ultrasonography can be directed for a more exact conclusion [3]. Radiographs can show cortical diminishing or erosive changes in the adjoining bone now and again.

  • Our patient had no such anomalies. An X-ray can likewise be utilized; it is noninvasive and it gives the phenomenal difference between a neoplasm and typical tissue, showing a high-signal nidus encompassed by an edge of lower signal force.

  • It can likewise be useful in making differential findings, like neuroma, melanoma, pigmented nevus, and hemangioma, just as unfamiliar bodies. Ultrasonography can be a preferable choice over X-ray, considering the time needed for the test, its expense, and its capacity to empower the assessment of injuries powerfully progressively. It shows ordinarily hypoechogenic sores up to 3 mm in width.

  • For this situation, X-beams uncovered the mass to be in the distal mash of our patient’s little finger.

  • Further radiological examinations were excessive in our patient on account of the clinical components of the growth and the presence of paroxysmal torment exacerbated by cold.

  • The histopathological examination uncovers variable creation of glomus cells, veins, and smooth muscles.

  • It might show a neoplasm made out of polygonal cells, with little and ordinary core, at times in strong groups, or in routinely arranged cell ropes. Glomus cells are coordinated in homes around vessels, which were found for our situation.

  • Even though glomus growths are harmless, sarcomas go with harmless glomus cancers in uncommon cases to shape glomangiosarcoma. Histology can likewise preclude the finding of threatening melanoma.

  • Single glomus growths should be precluded from agonizing cancers, like leiomyoma or eccrine spiradenoma. Besides, agonizing growths like hemangioma, neuroma, or gouty joint inflammation can mimic a glomus cancer in the hand prompting an indicative puzzle and can represent a remedial test.

  • Complete careful extraction of the cancer is the main successful therapy. For subcutaneous or pulpal cancers, the methodology is immediate, regarding the standards of cutaneous entry points and staying away from nerve fiber pathways.

  • For our situation, the immediate methodology was adequate for complete extraction because the injury was situated in the mash.

  • In all cases, absolute extirpation is performed after cautiously separating the encompassing tissues of the cancers.

  • After complete growth expulsion, relief from discomfort is fast and the finger recovers its ordinary appearance in 90 days. If not, re-investigation of the influenced region and rehash imaging ought to be finished.

  • Fastidious consideration should be taken at the principal activity to eliminate all sores because the repeat rate can be from 5 to half, fundamentally because of fragmented extraction.

Summary :blue_book:

Glomus cancer emerging in the uncommon area of the mash of a finger, with run-of-the-mill side effects of long haul agony and affectability to contact. Here we are quick to portray the dermoscopic provisions of a glomus growth in the uncommon area of the mash of a finger. We expect to accentuate the significance of the incorporation of the glomus growth among the conceivable outcomes of differential analysis of difficult computerized ■■■■■, notwithstanding its low event.

Frequently Ask Questions :blue_book:

Here, I described some question arise in my mind and I will describe it according to my opinion such as:

1. What causes a glomus Tumour?

The reason for the expansion of glomus cells in Glomus growth is obscure anyway there have been speculations that injury incites single subungual glomus cancers. Glomus growths that are skin-hued or situated in the nail lattice have a higher occurrence of repeat.

2. What is the characteristic symptom of a glomus tumor?

The common clinical manifestations of glomus cancers are torment, delicacy, and affectability to temperature change, and the presence of these clinical discoveries is useful in analysis. In any case, the growths frequently present indicative trouble on account of varieties in the show and the vague manifestations of glomus cancers

3. How rare is a glomus tumor?

These are harmless growths that emerge from one of the subcutaneous glomus bodies. These record for around 1% of all hand growths and happen all the more usually in ladies.

4. How is glomus tumor treated?

Surgical extraction of the growth is the main treatment methodology. During a 15-minute outpatient methodology, the nail is taken out, an entry point is made into the nail bed uncovering the growth, and the cancer is eliminated.

5. What does glomus mean?

Glomus means little arteriovenous anastomosis along with its supporting designs

6. What is a glomus tumor of the fingernail?

Glomus cancer is a harmless growth emerging from the neuromyoarterial plexus concentrated underneath the nail. This plexus is an arteriovenous anastomosis working without the mediator fine bed. Etiology isn’t known.

7. What is the function of the glomus?

Glomus type I cells are secretory tangible neurons that discharge synapses because of hypoxemia (low pO2), hypercapnia (high pCO2), or acidosis (low pH). Signs are communicated to the afferent nerve strands of the sinus nerve and may incorporate dopamine, acetylcholine, and adenosine.

8. What does glomus mean in Latin?

Glomus (Latin for ‘ball of thread or yarn’) can refer to Glomus (■■■■■■) Glomus tumor.

9. What is a gastric glomus tumor?

Gastric glomus cancers are submucosal growths that need explicit clinical and endoscopic qualities and are frequently confused with the more normal gastrointestinal stromal cancers. A 62-year-old Caucasian female gave windedness and an industrious hack.

10. What causes a glomus tumor in the ear?

Ordinarily, these nerves react to changes in internal heat level or circulatory strain. These cancers frequently happen sometime down the road, around age 60 or 70, however, they can show up at whatever stage in life. The reason for glomus jugulare cancer is obscure. By and large, there are no realized danger factors.

Conclusion :blue_book:

We know that glomus tumor is a serious disease, we can’t ignore it. If anyone does not know the glomus tumors. Then you must read this article thoroughly, I described all details and it’s all kinds of glomus tumors . I am 100% sure that this article will helpful for you.

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Glomus tumors, also known as paragangliomas, are benign tumors that grow slowly in the carotid arteries (the major blood vessels in your neck), the middle ear, or the area behind the middle ear (jugular bulb). Glomus tumors are usually benign, but they can cause substantial damage to surrounding tissues when they expand.


Glomus Tumor

A Glomus tumor is an uncommon benign soft tissue tumor that arises from the glomus body and presents in the second to fourth decade of life. It accounts for 1-5 per cent of all upper extremity soft tissue tumors.

A glomus body is a component of the skin’s dermis layer that helps regulate temperature. The glomus body is an arterio-venous shunt encased in a connective tissue capsule that is seen in greater abundance in the fingers and toes.

During freezing conditions, the glomus body shunts blood away from the skin surface, avoiding heat loss, and in warm weather, it causes maximum heat flow to the skin.

Glomus tumors appear as painful, blue-red blanch able papules or nodules in the deep dermis or subcutaneous fat, most typically on the fingers and toes and under the nail plate, and are less than 2cm in diameter.

Glomus cells, vascular, and smooth muscle cells make up these structures. These tumors cause significant paroxysmal pain and suffering in the patient when exposed to cold temperatures or pressure fluctuations.

The Love test and the Hildreth sign are two valuable findings for detecting glomus tumors, particularly those under the nails. The Love test entails applying pressure to the suspicious location with a pencil tip or pinhead, eliciting acute pain.

When employing a tourniquet to create transitory ischemia, the Hildreth sign reduces pain and tenderness using the love test. The cause of glomus cell proliferation in glomus tumors is unknown, but there have been ideas that isolated subungual glomus tumors are caused by trauma.

Recurrence is more common in glomus tumors that are skin-colored or situated in the nail matrix. Complete surgical excision is the therapy of choice for symptomatic solitary glomus tumors to reduce the risk of pain recurrence.

Although laser and sclerotherapy have been reported to be beneficial in some cases with single glomus tumors, total excision is the best option.

Preoperative imaging with color Doppler ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging for subungual tumors offers information on tumor size, shape, and specific anatomic position. Total nail avulsion and excision are used to treat them.

Excision may be more challenging in cases where there are many glomus tumors due to the significant number of lesions. As a result, multiple studies have shown that argon, carbon dioxide, or Nd: YAG laser therapy, as well as sclerotherapy using hypertonic saline or sodium tetradecyl sulphate, is a better therapeutic option.

The signs and symptoms of glomus tumors:

  • The symptoms of a paraganglioma vary depending on where the tumor is placed.

  • Carotid body tumors (tumors of the carotid arteries) can cause:

  • A swelling in the neck

  • Hoarseness

  • Having difficulty swallowing

  • A tumor of the jugular bulb (glomus jugulare tumor) can cause the following symptoms:

  • One ear is bleeding.

  • Having trouble swallowing

  • Earache

  • Loss of hearing

  • Shoulder sag

The following symptoms can be caused by a tumor in the middle ear (glomus tympanicum tumor):

  • One ear is bleeding.

  • Loss of hearing

  • One ear pulsing or ringing

  • A tumor in the neck (glomus vagal tumor) might cause the following symptoms:

  • Facial numbness or paralysis in a portion of the face (facial palsy)

  • A swelling in the neck

  • The body’s norepinephrine, or stress hormone, levels are sometimes affected by tumors. If this occurs, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Anxiety

  • Headaches

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Glomus Jugulare Tumors: Causes

A glomus jugulare tumor has no recognized cause. In the vast majority of instances, no identified risk factors exist. Glomus cancers have been linked to variations (mutations) in a gene that produces the succinate dehydrogenase enzyme (SDHD).

Pain, soreness, and cold sensitivity are common symptoms of glomus tumors. A case of a characteristic glomus tumor in a young woman was diagnosed and surgically managed successfully.

Medical history and MRI data were used to make the clinical diagnosis. The lesion was excised using a dorsolateral subungual technique, which resulted in total symptom relief. The lesion was determined to be a glomus tumor by histology.

Glomus tumors are a type of subungual lesion that causes pain. Following modest injuries, they cause throbbing or lancinating local discomfort, cold sensitivity, and acute pain. Although histology confirms the diagnosis, the clinical diagnosis is highly suggestive.

Pain is frequently relieved with complete excision. Following an incomplete resection, recurrence is common.

Glomus Tumor

Detection of glomus tumors

Glomus tumors are benign tumors of the glomus body, a thermoregulatory conduit in the digits that cause pain. Glomus tumors of the fingers and toes are linked to the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) monogenic condition and have only lately been recognized as part of the NF1 phenotype.

Results and Methods

We present the results of a multi-institutional study involving 15 people with NF1 and glomus tumors of the fingers or toes. Most people had at least two symptoms from the typical triad of localized discomfort, intense paroxysmal pain, and cold sensitivity.

In most cases, the appearance of the nail, finger, or toe is normal. Women are more likely to be affected than men. Multi-focal tumors are a common occurrence. Although magnetic resonance imaging may be helpful in some cases, there is often a long wait in diagnosis.

Clinical suspicion is crucial to diagnosis. Surgical removal of the tumor can be curative. However, recurrence and metachronous tumors are prevalent. Three of our patients showed indications and symptoms of CRP syndrome.


Glomus tumors in NF1 are more common than previously thought, and NF1 patients with fingertip or toe pain should be asked about it.

Glomus Tumors Treatment Options

If you have a glomus tumor, your Aurora neurosurgery team will work with you to determine the best treatment option for you, including experts from the Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute (ANII). For glomus tumors, your team may propose a mix of therapies, such as surgery and radiation.

The Expanded End nasal Approach (EEA) is a minimally invasive treatment in which the tumor is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery.

A glomus jugulare tumor can only be treated with surgery. A tumor may need to be removed even if it is small and not causing severe symptoms. The tumor will continue to develop slowly and cause more issues as it grows larger if it is not removed. Surgery can be performed in a variety of ways.

A glomus tumor was surgically removed from a fingertip. The tumor is a translucent oblate spheroid in the incision’s center, with a horizontal dimension of about 4 millimeters. The preferred treatment for benign glomus tumors is surgical removal.

Glomus Tumor

1. Surgical Removal of the Entire Tumor

Traditional neurosurgical methods can be used to remove a glomus jugulare tumor entirely. Because there are so many nerves in the area, the procedure is challenging, but no other therapy is required if the tumor can be removed without harming any nerves.

2. Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)

Stereotactic radiosurgery isn’t a pretty surgical procedure. It entails directing X-rays at the tumor to eradicate the aberrant tissue. This approach, unlike standard radiation therapy, is more targeted and less likely to destroy healthy tissue.

3. Radiation Therapy Surgery

Traditional surgery to remove the majority of the tumor is sometimes paired with follow-up radiotherapy. The radiation is directed at the tumor remnants that the surgeon was unable to eradicate physically.

4. Epidemiology

Glomus tumors occur at an unknown rate. Multiple variants are uncommon, accounting for fewer than 10% of all occurrences.

5. Sex

Females are more likely than males to develop solitary glomus tumors, particularly subungual lesions. Males are somewhat more likely than females to have several lesions.

6. Age

Adults are more likely than children to develop solitary glomus tumors. Multiple glomus tumours appear 11–15 years earlier than single lesions, with one-third of occurrences occurring in those under the age of 20. Congenital glomus tumors are uncommon; they resemble plagues and are classified as a subtype of multiple glomus tumors.

Display of a Case

Glomus tumors are an uncommon mesenchymal neoplasm that affects the toes and fingers’ subungual tissues. Glomus tumors account for around 2% of all benign soft tissue tumors.

Glomus tumors with extra digital appearances are incredibly uncommon; just around 1% of glomus tumors are seen on the head. Lips (54.2 per cent), hard palate, gingiva, tongue, and buccal mucosa are the most common sites for ■■■■ glomus tumors.

The lung, trachea, heart, uterus, and stomach have all been involved in a few cases. Depending on the proportion of glomus cells, blood vessels, and smooth muscle cells, glomus tumors can be classified as solid (75 per cent of cases), glomangiomas with a vascular predominance (20 per cent), or glomangiomyomas with smooth muscle cell predominance (5 per cent).

Glomus tumors in the dermis or subcutaneous tissues of the extremities often measure less than one centimeter in diameter. On the other hand, glomus tumors in the head and neck region are more extensive, measuring 1 to 1.5 cm on average.

1. Evidence

There is no evidence that the size of the tumor affects the prognosis of the patient. There have been a few reports of malignant glomus tumors. Glomangiosarcoma is a cancerous version of a glomus tumor. Head and neck cancers are pretty uncommon.

Spector et colleagues described a case of cerebral metastases from a glomangiosarcoma of the head and neck. A case of glomangiosarcoma spreading to the jaw from a distant site was documented by Kreutz et al.

Histopathological investigation is used to determine whether glomus tumors are malignant. Tumors that are larger than 2 cm in diameter, have a moderate-to-high nuclear grade, and have an unusual mitotic figure of more than 5 per 50 HPF (high-power field) are considered very suspicious for malignancy.

2. Features

Flop et al. proposed classification of glomus tumors with atypical features in 2001, based on an analysis of 52 cases of glomus tumors and combining the histological features.

Features are as follows:

  • Malignant glomus tumors (large size and deep location, marked atypia with mitotic activity, as glomangiosarcoma).

  • Symplastic glomus tumor (only nuclear atypia).

  • Glomus tumor of uncertain malignant potential (superficial location with (histological features of benign glomus tumor with diffuse growth).

3. Cause

The cause of glomus tumors is unknown; however, family glomus tumors were discovered to be autosomal dominant with partial ■■■■■■■■■■■. Yoo et al. described a case of submandibular and parotid double glomus tumors.

Sixty per cent of patients with multiple glomus tumors have a positive family history, indicating that this is an inherited condition. In 1943, the first case of an ■■■■ cavity glomus tumor was documented.

In a survey of the English-language literature, we found only 27 cases of benign glomus tumors with ■■■■ involvement (Table). Rajendran et al. published the first intraoral case of glomangiosarcoma in English literature: a 51-year-old man with a 27-mm tongue glomangiosarcoma.

1 2004 Rallis et al 85 Female Upper lip(mucosa) pain 13
2 2008 Ide et al 57 Male Upper lip unknown unknown
3 2010 Derand et al 11 Female Lower lip(vermilion) no 3
4 2018 Zou et al 24 Male The floor of the mouth pain 28
5 2019 Current case 62 Male Lower lip(mucosa) No 10

Subungual glomus tumors cause stabbing pain, cold intolerance, and discomfort in the fingertips, whereas labial glomus tumors are usually painless and slow-growing. Patients between the ages of 40 and 70 are most likely to develop glomus tumors.

In contrast to the subungual location, which is more common in females, data show that the average age of presentation for labial tumors is 48.7 years without a sex preference.

Other areas, on the other hand, have a gender-balanced population. Surgical removal of the tumor is the only way to treat it. Subungual tumors have a recurrence rate of 4 to 15%, but labial glomus tumors have insufficient data to predict recurrence rates.


When compared to subungual glomus tumors, labial glomus tumors present in a distinct way. Because of the differences in clinical presentation, doctors have difficulty distinguishing these tumors from other, less painful lip lesions. For well-circumscribed, no tender lesions in the ■■■■ cavity, glomus tumors should be considered. We hope that this publication will raise awareness of this uncommon condition among professionals.


Is There a Long-Term Prospect?

The sooner you have the tumor removed, the more likely you are to make a full recovery. It’s easier to remove a smaller, less extensive tumor, and there’s less chance of damaging other vital structures accidentally.

It will be more challenging to remove a tumor that has spread to blood vessels and nerves. Even though removing this sort of tumor is a complex treatment, most people are cured after one or more procedures. The tumor may come back in some circumstances, necessitating further surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

People asked many questions about “Glomus Tumor” few of them were answered below:

1. What is a glomus tumor’s defining symptom?

Pain, soreness, and temperature sensitivity are common clinical symptoms of glomus tumors, and their presence aids in diagnosis. However, diagnosing them can be challenging due to the wide range of symptoms and nonspecific symptoms associated with glomus tumors.

2. What are the symptoms of a glomus tumor?

The middle and inner ear structures are involved in a glomus jugulare tumor, which is a tumor of the temporal bone in the skull. The ear, upper neck, base of the skull, and surrounding blood vessels and nerves may all be affected by this tumor.

3. Is it possible to get cancer from a glomus tumor?

Glomus tumors, also known as paragangliomas, emerge from glomus cells and are benign (noncancerous) yet locally invasive tumors.

4. Can a glomus tumor be felt?

Glomus Tumors appear as a tiny, hard, reddish-blue lump beneath the fingernail. These lesions are typically tiny, with a diameter of less than 7mm. They can be excruciatingly painful, are temperature sensitive, and palpable.

5. Is it uncomfortable to have a glomus tumor?

Glomus tumors are a type of subungual lesion that can be extremely painful. Following modest trauma, they cause localized throbbing or lancinating discomfort, cold sensitivity, and acute pain. The clinical diagnosis is highly suggestive, but histology confirms the diagnosis. Pain is frequently alleviated by complete excision.

6. What are the treatment options for a glomus tumor?

Complete surgical excision is the curative therapy of choice for symptomatic solitary glomus tumors to reduce the risk of pain recurrence. In some cases with solitary glomus tumors, laser and sclerotherapy have been reported to be beneficial; however, complete excision is the best treatment.

7. Is a glomus tumor sporadic?

These benign tumors develop from one of the glomus bodies beneath the skin. Women are more likely to develop these tumors, which account for about 1% of all hand tumors.

8. Is a glomus tumor prevalent?

A glomus tumor (also called as a “solitary glomus tumor,” “solid glomus tumor,” or “solid glomus tumor”) is an uncommon neoplasm that arises from the glomus body and is typically detected under the nail, on the fingertip, or in the foot. Soft tissue tumors make up less than 2% of all cancers.

9. Is it possible for a glomus tumor to spread to other parts of the body?

Glomangiosarcoma, or malignant glomus tumor, is a sporadic mesenchymal cancer that affects the visceral organs. These tumors rarely spread, despite having malignancy-like histology. When the condition spreads, though, it is generally fatal.

10. Is it inherited to get glomus tumors?

The majority of glomus jugulare tumors occur by chance in people with no family history of the disease.

11. Is a paraganglioma a glomus tumor?

Glomus tumors, also known as paragangliomas, are:

  • Slow-growing, benign tumors that develop in the carotid arteries (the major blood vessels in your neck).

  • The middle ear.

  • The area below the middle ear (jugular bulb).

  • Glomus tumors are usually benign, but they can cause considerable damage to other tissues when they expand.

12. What is a stomach glomus tumor, and what does it look like?

Gastric glomus tumors are submucosal tumors that lack particular clinical and endoscopic features and are frequently confused with gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Shortness of breath and a persistent cough was seen in a 62-year-old Caucasian female.

13. What does glomus do?

Glomus type I cells are secretory, sensory neurons that respond to hypoxia (low pO2), hypercapnia (high pCO2), or acidosis by releasing neurotransmitters (low pH). Dopamine, acetylcholine, and adenosine are examples of signals sent to the afferent nerve fibers of the sinus nerve.

14. What causes the pain in glomus tumors?

Excruciating paroxysmal pain, extreme point soreness, and cold sensitivity are the hallmark symptoms of a glomus tumor. The contraction of myofilaments in reaction to temperature changes, increasing intracapsular pressure, is thought to be the pain mechanism.

15. Is it painful to have a schwannoma?

Schwannomas usually do not cause symptoms until they are large enough to impinge on the nerves surrounding them. Pain in the area controlled by the damaged nerve may occur on occasion. A palpable lump beneath the skin is one of the other typical systems.


Periungual glomus tumors are diagnosed as tiny tumors with exaggerated symptoms when they present clinically. An MRI can help establish the optimal surgical technique by pinpointing the tumor’s location.

The first excision gives you the best chance of a cure that is both practical and appealing. As a result, thorough tumor removal, meticulous planning, and a bloodless excision are required.

Histology backs up the initial diagnosis. When the tumor is located in the center of the nail, it is usually required to remove the nail, but for lateral tumors, a creative approach allows the tumor to be removed without causing damage to the nail matrix or nail bed.

The functional and cosmetic outcomes, as well as the absence of pain, indicate surgical success. One year following surgery, the patient had fully recovered and was symptom-free.

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Glomus tumor is a rare benign vascular tumor that derives from structures called glomus bodies. These are neuromyoarterial devices responsible for the regulation of local blood flow and thermoregulation. It was first described by Wood in 1812, being named after Masson in 1924.

They are located in the dermis of any part of the integument but are more concentrated in the hands and feet. Up to 80% are located in the upper extremities, being especially frequent in the subungual region.

Definition of glomus tumors

Glomus tumors are solid tumors that mainly refer to two types of structures. They come from:

  • Masson’s neurovascular glomus, located under the skin in the dermis, plays a role in the body’s thermal regulation. This is then a neuro-Myo-arterial proliferation.

  • Paraganglia, structures belonging to the neuroendocrine system, resulting from embryonic neural crests, and located from the base of the skull to the cervical level and along the vascular axes of the neck (jugular vein, carotid bifurcation).

Composition of glomus tumors

The composition varies according to the type:

  • Glomus tumors of the extremities contain glomus cells forming islets centered by vessels, smooth muscle cells, and blood vessels.

  • Paraganglionic glomus tumors have a vascular component, but they have so-called neuro-endocrine properties and can thus secrete vasoactive substances, which have an action on the diameter of the blood vessels.

Causes of glomus tumor

The glomus tumors of the extremities are often isolated cases in a family (sporadic), they rather appear in adults with an average age of 40 years with a female predominance. There may be hereditary family forms (neurofibromatosis type 1). In this case, the tumors are rather multiple.

Good to know: Glomus tumors are rare tumors.

Glomus tumors of the paraganglioma type can be isolated but they are often familial (mutation of the SDH gene, multiple endocriennial neoplasms, Von Hippel Lindau disease, type 1 neurofibromatosis), and can be associated with other tumors such as pheochromocytomas or other tumors derived from neural crests.

Evolution of glomus tumors

The evolution of glomus tumors of the extremities is slow, characterized by an extension with progressive destruction of the adjacent tissues. These tumors are generally benign but present a risk of local recurrence after their removal.

Glomus tumors related to paragangliomas can invade adjacent structures and, due to their endocrine properties, generate serious complications such as pressure surges.

Note: in both cases, they are generally benign but there are rare malignant forms that generate metastases.

Locations of glomus tumors

The glomus tumors of the extremities develop under the skin:

  • digitally, on the pulp of the finger or under the nail bed. It is the most frequent form;

  • sometimes in the limbs (palm, wrist, forearm, foot);

  • more rarely: soft tissues, nasal cavity, trachea, stomach.

Type Glomus tumors paraganglioma develop:

  • at the level of the neck and the base of the skull: at the top of the internal jugular vein under the base of the skull, along the cervical nerve;

  • at the level of the cervical ganglion of the vagus nerve, at the tympanic level in the middle ear (along the jacobsonian nerve);

  • at the level of the carotid bifurcation (we speak of chemodectoma).

Symptoms of glomus tumor

Symptoms depend on the location of the glomus tumor:

  • For the subungual form: very intense or even excruciating pain at the slightest contact or during exposure to cold, localized on the tumor area. The tumor is often hidden under the nail bed or in the pulp of the finger. Sometimes it is visible as a small purplish spot, very rarely it is palpable.

Diagnosis is often difficult as the tumor is often invisible on physical examination.

  • Pulsatile tinnitus with hearing loss for tympanic forms.
  • Neurological signs for jugular forms (damage to the cranial nerves and the posterior fossa) and cervical forms (paralysis of the vagus nerve and the great hypoglossal nerve), headaches.
  • Vagal discomfort due to vagus nerve stimulation.
  • Neck pain.
  • Palpable mass in the neck for carotid forms.

Diagnosis of glomus tumors

The diagnosis is mentioned:

  • on standard radiography (cortical notch in aggressive subungual forms that reach the bone);

  • CT scan or MRI;

  • angiography in the event of localization at the level of the neck or the base of the skull, in order to explore the carotid and vertebrobasilar axes;

  • Octreoscan scintigraphy (injection of a radioactive marker through a vein) makes it possible to visualize locations in the body, with tumors specifically binding a marker called somatostatin.

Summary: It is confirmed by histology, an examination carried out on a biopsy or on a surgical part. Immunohistochemistry makes it possible to specify the diagnosis by looking for the presence of markers.

Urinary and blood assays of catecholamines can be useful in order to detect possible complications (pressure surges) in the event of paraganglioma.

Good to know: a genetic investigation may be necessary.

Treatment of glomus tumor

Treatment consists of surgical resection or embolization. Sometimes it is supplemented by radiation therapy to limit the risk of recurrence.

In case of digital localization:

  • Surgical excision is sufficient with coagulation of the edges to prevent a recurrence.

  • The pain subsides immediately after the procedure.

5 patients with epigastric glomus tumor

No Gender Age Symptom Gastric location Site Size (cm) Follow-up (months) Operation methods
1 F 59 Epigastric discomfort Antrum Mucosa to muscularis 3.5 Segmental resection
2 F 51 Epigastric discomfort Antrum Submucosa to muscularis 1.5 Segmental resection
3 F 44 Epigastric discomfort Antrum Submucosa to muscularis 2.5 Segmental resection
4 M 62 Epigastric pain Antrum Submucosa to muscularis 1.5 Segmental resection
5 M 40 None Antrum Submucosa to muscularis 2.3 Segmental resection


  • Glomus tumors are rare, constituting 1–5% of hand tumors 6. 25 to 75% of these are located in the subungual area, which is more common in women, with other locations more common in men.

  • pathogenesis

  • Anatomically, the glomus bodies from which these tumors originate consist of an afferent arteriole, anastomotic vessels (Suquet-Hoyer canals), a collecting vein, the intraglomerular reticulum (containing glomus cells, nerve fibers, and interstitial cells). and a capsule.

  • Although the cause of glomus tumors is unknown, some authors have proposed that a weakness in this structure can lead to reactive hypertrophy secondary to trauma, or that they constitute hamartomas in which the components are hypertrophied.

  • Glomus cells are specialized smooth muscle cells that derive from Zimmermann’s pericytes and are particularly dense around these dilated vascular spaces.

In addition, increased numbers of nerve fibers and mast cells can also be found. It is not uncommon for patients to associate the appearance of the lesion with a previous trauma in that location, but the causal relationship has not been proven.

Classification of glomus tumor

  • Glomus tumors can be classified into two clinicopathological variants: solitary or multiple. The former is the most frequent, they usually appear in adulthood and are preferably located in acral areas, especially in the subungual bed, as we have commented.

The presence of multiple digital glomus tumors is rare and has been described several times in patients with type 1 neurofibromatosis.

  • Multiple glomus tumors also called glomangiomas or glomovenous malformations due to their angiomatous appearance, constitute less than 10% of cases.

Unlike solitaries, they appear at a younger age and are usually inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern with variable expressiveness and incomplete penetrance. The gene has been located on chromosome 1p21-22 (glomalin gene).

Summary :These tumors have a slight predominance in males and appear as soft bluish nodules, dividing in turn, according to their distribution, into multiple disseminated glomangiomas, multiple localized glomangiomas, and congenital plaque glomangioma. Multiple glomus tumors are usually not painful, in contrast to solitary ones.

Here are 4 most frequently asked questions:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are glomus tumors?

Glomus tumors are benign (non-cancerous) tumors of vascular origin (arising from the cells that make up the blood or lymphatic vessels) and of unknown cause. Glomus tumors are rare (1-2%) and are more prevalent in women. They are usually located on the fingertips and under the nail, causing significant functional problems, due to the pain they generate.

2. What are the symptoms of glomus tumor?

  • Paroxysmal pain and severe pain are the main symptoms

  • Sensitivity to cold in the affected area

3. What do we find on physical examination?

  • Bluish nodules, sometimes difficult to see in the subungual region

  • Changes in the color or shape of the nail

  • Pressure pain when touching objects

4. How are glomus tumors diagnosed?

Due to its infrequency, and its little knowledge outside the scope of hand surgery, the diagnosis of a glomus tumor often takes time. In order to carry out a diligent diagnosis, in addition to the symptoms described request X-rays (they can affect the bone) and MRI (to be able to see the soft tissue involvement).

However, the definitive diagnosis is made by means of the pathological study (study of the samples of the affected tissue) after its extirpation.

Glomus tumors more frequently affect middle-aged patients, but they have been described in all ages. The clinical triad of intense paroxysmal pain, exquisite location of the pain point, and sensitivity to cold are characteristic.
The presence of these symptoms is quite suggestive of the diagnosis, but in many cases, it is delayed, so it is not uncommon for patients to consult for intense subungual pain after years of evolution.

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