Nonvascular lesions of the jugular foramen: the gruppo otologico experience

Skull Base. 2009 Jan;19(1):57-74. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1103124.


Tumors other than paragangliomas in the jugular foramen are uncommon. Of these, schwannomas and meningiomas predominate. Little clinical data are available in the literature on these tumors at this site. The purpose of this article is to review our experience at the Gruppo Otologico of the management of these tumors. A retrospective series is presented of 32 consecutive patients affected by jugular foramen schwannomas and meningiomas in which their clinical and radiological signs, together with surgical techniques and outcomes, were reviewed. A single-stage resection was possible for the majority of patients when the petro-occipital trans-sigmoid (POTS) approach was used. This allowed resection of both intra- and extradural components of the tumor with hearing preservation and avoidance of facial nerve transposition. No deaths occurred. Lower cranial nerve palsies constituted the major cause of morbidity, but none of the patients required an adjunctive procedure such as vocal cord medialization, tracheostomy, or percutaneous gastrostomy.

Keywords: Jugular foramen; POTS approach; meningioma; schwannoma; skull base.