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Trigeminal Schwannoma

Last Updated: March 13, 2020

Trigeminal Schwannoma: Root Type

Trigeminal schwannomas are rare benign tumors representing the most common nonvestibular schwannoma, and 0.07 to 0.36% of all intracranial tumors. They may occur sporadically but case reports suggest patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF-2) have an increased propensity to form these tumors in addition to the more commonly found vestibular schwannomas.

Schwannomas emerge from the peripheral nerve sheath, distal to the oligodendroglia–Schwann cell junction. The trigeminal nerve (cerebellpontine angle) and the gasserian ganglion (cavernous sinus and Meckel’s cave) are the most common sites for intracranial schwannomas after the vestibular nerve. Similar to vestibular schwannomas, gross total resection of a trigeminal schwannoma portends a good prognosis regarding long-term tumor free survival; however, if only partial resection is achieved, recurrence is common.

The operative approach and difficulty of resection is highly dependent on the location of the tumor along the trigeminal nerve. Jefferson’s classification proposed in 1959, which categorized the tumor based on the segment of the ne...