Management of non-vestibular schwannomas in adult patients: a systematic review and consensus statement on behalf of the EANS skull base section Part II: Trigeminal and facial nerve schwannomas (CN V, VII)

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2022 Feb;164(2):299-319. doi: 10.1007/s00701-021-05092-8. Epub 2022 Jan 25.


Background: Non-vestibular schwannomas are relatively rare, with trigeminal and jugular foramen schwannomas being the most common. This is a heterogenous group which requires detailed investigation and careful consideration to management strategy. The optimal management for these tumours remains unclear and there are several controversies. The aim of this paper is to provide insight into the main principles defining management and surgical strategy, in order to formulate a series of recommendations.

Methods: A task force was created by the EANS skull base section committee along with its members and other renowned experts in the field to generate recommendations for the surgical management of these tumours on a European perspective. To achieve this, the task force performed an extensive systematic review in this field and had discussions within the group. This article is the second of a three-part series describing non-vestibular schwannomas (V, VII).

Results: A summary of literature evidence was proposed after discussion within the EANS skull base section. The constituted task force dealt with the practice patterns that exist with respect to pre-operative radiological investigations, ophthalmological assessments, optimal surgical and radiotherapy strategies, and follow-up management.

Conclusion: This article represents the consensually derived opinion of the task force with respect to the treatment of trigeminal and facial schwannoma. The aim of treatment is maximal safe resection with preservation of function. Careful thought is required to select the appropriate surgical approach. Most middle fossa trigeminal schwannoma tumours can be safely accessed by a subtemporal extradural middle fossa approach. The treatment of facial nerve schwannoma remains controversial.

Keywords: Facial nerve schwannoma; Non-vestibular schwannoma; Quality of life; Radiosurgery; Trigeminal schwannoma.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Consensus
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Facial Nerve
  • Humans
  • Neurilemmoma* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Base / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome