Schwannoma of the oculomotor nerve: a case report with consideration of the surgical treatment

Neurosurgery. 1999 Sep;45(3):630-3; discussion 633-4. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199909000-00039.


Objective and importance: Oculomotor schwannoma is extremely rare. We report a case of oculomotor schwannoma with consideration of its surgical management.

Clinical presentation: A 64-year-old woman with a history of chronic headache underwent a computed tomographic scan, which revealed a mass lesion in the right prepontine cistern. She had no neurological deficits at admission.

Intervention: The tumor originated from the right oculomotor nerve. It was subtotally removed, leaving a tiny part attached to the nerve. The nerve trunk was preserved. A pathological examination revealed a schwannoma. Transient right oculomotor nerve palsy occurred postoperatively, but it improved almost completely.

Conclusion: The tumor in the present case was resected, preserving serviceable oculomotor function. However, among 16 patients reported in the literature, all but one developed or maintained severe postsurgical oculomotor nerve palsy. We conclude that surgical resection generally is not indicated for oculomotor schwannomas, excluding large tumors that cause intractable symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Craniotomy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnosis*
  • Neurilemmoma / pathology
  • Neurilemmoma / surgery*
  • Oculomotor Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Oculomotor Nerve / pathology
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / pathology
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed