Background: Abducens nerve function seldom shows complete recovery after removal of abducens nerve schwannoma. No cases with unclear course of the abducens nerve during surgery have been reported to achieve complete recovery of nerve function. Case Description: We report the case of a 44-year-old woman who presented with occasional dysgeusia without abducens nerve paresis. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a solid tumor about 2 cm in diameter at the left cerebellopontine cistern. Cranial nerves except the abducens nerve appeared intact. The tumor was removed via suboccipital craniotomy. The abducens nerve was totally invisible on the surface of the tumor throughout the procedure. Only short segments of abducens nerve were identifiable at around Dorello's canal and the root exit zone. The tumor was resected by subcapsular dissection, and part of the tumor capsule was preserved as a scaffold for nerve generation, although whether any abducens nerve was included remained uncertain. Histopathologic examination confirmed World Health Organization grade I schwannoma. Postoperatively, the patient presented with complete left abducens nerve paresis and diplopia, but abducens nerve function began to improve 3 months later and had completely recovered within 16 months after surgery. Conclusions: This represents the first description of abducens nerve schwannoma in which the course of the abducens nerve was intraoperatively unclear but complete recovery was achieved. In such cases, intentional subcapsular dissection may potentiate functional recovery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology