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Extracranial Head and Neck Schwannomas: Our Experience

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Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Schwannomas are benign neoplasms of the peripheral nerves originating in the Schwann cells. They are rare and usually solitary, with clearly delimited capsules. They occur in the head and neck region in only 25 % of the cases, and may be associated with Von Recklinghausen’s disease. Schwannomas are always a diagnostic dilemma as they are asymptomatic for long time and histopathology is the gold standard for diagnosis. The present study retrospectively analysed data of 4 patients with schwannomas and reviewed the literature on the subject. Retrospective study at ENT & Head and Neck Surgery Department of Navodaya Medical College, Raichur. Data of 4 patients between 2008 and 2014 were reviewed. The sites of cervical schwannomas and the intraoperative, histopathological and postoperative clinical status of these cases were studied. Diagnostic methods, type of surgery and associated nerve of origin (NOO) were evaluated. The patients’ age ranged from 18 to 50 years. None of them had type I neurofibromatosis or Von Recklinghausen’s disease. The nerves affected included the brachial plexus, vagus nerve, sympathetic chain and lingual nerve. The nerve of origin was identified based on intra-operative findings and post-operative neurological deficits. Tumour was removed by debulk operation with the preservation of NOO method. Schwannomas are generally benign, and rarely recur. An accurate preoperative workup with the identification of NOO is very important not only for a correct diagnosis, but also for surgical planning and informing the patient about the possible complications.

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Correspondence to B. H. Shrikrishna.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Shrikrishna, B.H., Jyothi, A.C., Kulkarni, N.H. et al. Extracranial Head and Neck Schwannomas: Our Experience. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 68, 241–247 (2016).

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