Atypical Tumors of the Facial Nerve

Case Series and Review of the Literature

Lindsey Ross, M.D; Doniel Drazin, M.D; Paula Eboli, M.D; Gregory P. Lekovic, M.D., Ph.D.


Neurosurg Focus. 2013;34(3):e2 

In This Article


Retrospective Chart Review

The charts of all patients with tumors of the facial nerve treated between 2008 and 2011 by the senior author (G.P.L.) were retrospectively reviewed. Patients undergoing observation with serial MRI and those who were treated with upfront radiosurgery and for whom tissue diagnosis was not available were excluded. In addition, patients with suspected vestibular schwannoma, facial nerve schwannoma, neurofibromatosis Type 2, and metastatic disease were also excluded. Preoperative and postoperative imaging studies including CT scanning of the temporal bone and MRI were reviewed by an independent neuroradiologist. Facial nerve outcomes were evaluated based on House-Brackmann grade at presentation and at last follow-up (Table 1).

Literature Review

A systematic search was performed using the PubMed and MEDLINE databases to identify case series involving facial nerve hemangiomas, facial nerve meningiomas, and facial nerve glomus tumors (Table 2). Initial key words included "facial nerve hemangioma" and "intratemporal hemangioma," which yielded 218 results. After systematic review, we were able to locate 9 complete articles with case reports in the English-language literature. When searching for case reports discussing facial nerve meningiomas, we used the key words "facial nerve meningioma." This yielded 33 results, of which 7 were complete articles. Finally, "facial nerve glomus tumor" and "paraganglioma facial nerve" were the key words used to locate case reports of glomus facialis tumors. There were 156 resulting articles, most of which described the more common glomus jugulare. Our search yielded a total of 9 case reports in the literature to date. We excluded all case reports that refrained from disclosing details related to presentation, diagnostics, and management, leaving 7 articles for review.