Management of giant presacral schwannoma. Clinical series and literature review

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2021 Jan:200:106409. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.106409. Epub 2020 Dec 4.


Purpose: Presacral schwannomas are rare tumors. Due to their benign nature and slow growth, these tumors are often giant and become difficult to treat. Their removal is a surgical challenge with different strategies reported in the literature. This study presents the consecutives cases of presacral schwannomas operated on in our institution, our surgical strategy and literature review.

Methods: This retrospective study includes all consecutive patients operated on for a pre-sacral schwannoma in our department between 2006 and 2019, i.e. 6 patients. We report clinical features, pre and post-operative imaging, surgical data and post-operative outcomes.

Results: All patients had symptoms before surgery (constipation, dysuria, radicular or lower back pain) with an average duration of 7.4 months. All patients underwent an MRI and a CT scan before the surgery. Five patients had type III schwannoma according to Klimo classification and one patient had a type II. The average size was 504,9 cm3 (range 53,1-1495,4). All the patients were operated on by an anterior approach in a double team with an mean duration of 246 min. Intraoperative bleeding was less than 500 ml for 4 patients, 2 patients had significant bleeding (2700 and 2900 mL). Excision was total or subtotal in all cases. One patient had an intraoperative complication (air embolism). Follow up at 3 months was excellent with a disappearance of symptoms for all patients except one patient who retained constipation. One patient had a late complication (bowel obstruction due to tissue adhesions). At last follow-up after phone interview, no patient had clinical symptoms that could suggest a recurrence.

Conclusion: The anterior approach with a double surgical team is a great option for the treatment of presacral schwannoma. Combined with adequate preoperative imaging and intraoperative stimulation, it reduces the risk of intra and postoperative complications.

Keywords: Giant schwannoma; Neuroma; Presacral; Schwannoma; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neurilemmoma / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacrum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sacrum / surgery*