Cavernous hemangioma of the internal auditory canal encasing the VII and VIII cranial nerve complex: case report and review of the literature

Neurosurg Rev. 2016 Apr;39(2):349-54. doi: 10.1007/s10143-016-0705-z. Epub 2016 Feb 15.


Cavernous angiomas originating in the internal auditory canal are very rare. In the available literature, only 65 cases of cavernomas in this location have been previously reported. We describe the case of a 22-year-old woman surgically treated for a cavernous hemangioma in the left internal auditory canal, mimicking on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging MRI an acoustic neuroma. Neurological symptoms were hypoacusia and dizziness. The cavernous angioma encased the seventh and, partially, the eighth cranial nerve complex. A "nearly total" removal was performed, leaving a thin residual of malformation adherent to the facial nerve. Postoperative period was uneventful; hearing was unchanged, but the patient had a moderate inferior left facial palsy (House-Brackmann grade II) slightly improved during the following weeks. On the basis of the observation of this uncommon case, we propose a revision of the literature and discuss clinical features, differential diagnosis, and treatment.

Keywords: Acoustic neuroma; Cavernous angioma; Cochlear nerve; Facial nerve; Internal auditory canal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cochlear Nerve / surgery*
  • Facial Nerve / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hearing / physiology
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnosis
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / diagnosis
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / surgery*
  • Young Adult