gms | German Medical Science

60th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Benelux countries and Bulgaria

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

24 - 27 May 2009, Münster

Case report: An isolated extracranial hypoglossal neurinoma – a very rare localization of a tumor

Meeting Abstract

  • H.-J. Heiroth - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf
  • M. Riemenschneider - Klinik für Neuropathologie, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf
  • H.-J. Steiger - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf
  • D. Hänggi - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 60. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit den Benelux-Ländern und Bulgarien. Münster, 24.-27.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. DocP15-11

doi: 10.3205/09dgnc420, urn:nbn:de:0183-09dgnc4200

Published: May 20, 2009

© 2009 Heiroth et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Neurinomas of the hypoglossal nerve are very rare, and if occurring at all, they are often located intracranially or jointly intra-and extracranially in a dumb-shell shape. The localization of the present neurinoma of the hypoglossal nerve adjacent to the skull base, i.e. solely extracranial, is extremely rare.

Methods: A 23-year-old female patient reported about relapsing headaches. She had been suffering from right-sided hypoglossal nerve palsy for about five to six years. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an extracranial tumor with contact to the skull base adjacent to the hypoglossal nerve. This tumor was extirpated using a posterior far-lateral infracondylar approach while intraoperative monitoring was conducted.

Results: The tumor was completely resected and histologically verified as a neurinoma of the hypoglossal nerve. The patient suffered from hoarseness and a moderate palsy of the right recurrent laryngeal nerve for a period of six weeks.

Conclusions: Pathologies of the hypoglossal nerve are very rare. Whenever tumors are diagnosed, two major questions arise regarding the dignity and the location of the tumor with regard to surgical removal. Although the diagnosis in itself is very unusual, the merely extracranial location of a hypoglossal neurinoma contributes even more to its rareness at the skull base and should thus be noted as a differential diagnosis.