Cervical ganglioneuroma: A case report and review of the literature

Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Apr;98(15):e15203. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000015203.


Rationale: Ganglioneuromas are benign neoplasm of neuroblastic origin which arise from central or peripheral parts of the autonomic nervous system. They are normally found at posterior mediastinum, retroperitoneum, and the adrenal gland but ganglioneuromas are rarely found in the cervical region.

Patient concerns: A 12-year-old boy was admitted with a left-lateral neck mass slow growing over a 7-days duration. The tumor was painless and was not associated with any systemic or compression-related symptoms. No symptoms of Horner's syndrome, including ptosis, myosis, ipsilateral facial anhidrosis, and flushing, were observed. Laboratory routine tests were within normal limits, and magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a solid and well-circumscribed mass in the carotid space.

Diagnosis: Due to the patient's symptoms, laboratory test results together with radiographic investigation findings, the 12 years old boy was diagnosed with cervical ganglioneuroma combined with tetralogy of Fallot.

Interventions: Surgical excision.

Outcomes: The postoperative period was uneventful with the exception of Horner's syndrome on the left side in short period, and it was finally resolved after 8 months recovery. The patient is now in stable condition after operation, with improvement in symptoms during follow-up recovery.

Lessons: Ganglioneuromas should be accounted as the differential diagnosis of pediatric soft tissue tumors of the head and neck. The diagnosis for ganglioneuromas in cervical region can only be ascertained with postoperative pathologic examination, and excision is considered as the only effective treatment modality known so far which may cause Horner's syndrome at times. However, patients have a favorable prognosis without recurrence overall.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ganglioneuroma / diagnosis*
  • Ganglioneuroma / pathology
  • Ganglioneuroma / surgery
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male