BACKGROUND: Paragangliomas are tumors arising from paraganglia of the autonomic nervous system. They are rare tumors and occurrence inside the gallbladder is exceptionally rare. Biliary paragangliomas..
BACKGROUND: Paragangliomas are tumors arising from paraganglia of the autonomic nervous system. They are rare tumors and occurrence inside the gallbladder is exceptionally rare. Biliary paragangliomas are thought to be associated with the parasymphathetic fibers and are therefore non-functioning and benign. There are less than 10 cases reported in literature and majority are found incidentally upon cholecystectomy. There is no specific treatment for these tumors and resection is considered sufficient. CASE PRESENTATION: 63 year old female presented with recurrent biliary colic exacerbated by fatty food. She underwent imaging work up that was consistent with biliary dyskinesia. She underwent uneventful elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy and was doing well post-operatively. Pathology report was significant for chronic cholecystitis, no calculi, and a small focus of paraganglioma. CONCLUSION: We presented a case in which a primary gallbladder paraganglioma was identified incidentally in a patient who presented with symptomatic biliary dyskinesia. Due to the non-functioning nature of these tumors there are felt to be benign. We know the paraganglia of the gallbladder consists of both parasymphathetic and sympathetic fibers. The sympathetic paragangliomas tend to act similar to pheochromocytomas and thus have malignant potential. Due to the rarity of primary gallbladder paraganglioma and limited reported cases, we need more information to determine if further work up and treatment is necessary in such cases.