Extracranial head and neck schwannomas: a review of 8 years experience

Acta Otolaryngol. 2002 Jun;122(4):435-7. doi: 10.1080/00016480260000157.


Schwannomas of the head and neck are uncommon tumors that arise from cranial, peripheral or autonomic nerves. In this study we review a series of 52 cases of schwannoma originating in the head and neck region over an 8-year period. All the tumors were benign, with the exception of one malignant schwannoma. The age range of the patients studied was 13-76 years and there was a predilection for males. Twenty-five schwannomas occurred in the scalp, face and external ear canal, 9 in the oral or nasal cavity and 18 in the neck. Seven cases of neck schwannoma originating from the major nerve system were found in the parapharyngeal space, all of which were located in the post-styloid compartment. Cervical plexus schwannomas originated either in the peripheral nerves or in an unidentified area of the nervous system; seven tumors were found in the posterior triangle of the neck and two in the anterior triangle. Two of the tumors originating in the brachial plexus were located in the posterior neck and one in the anterior neck. Tumors originating in the vagus nerve or sympathetic chain were all located in the anterior triangle of the neck.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neurilemmoma / epidemiology
  • Neurilemmoma / pathology*
  • Radiography