Facial nerve neuroma (Figure 1) is a rare benign tumor (0.2 to 1.5% of cases)1.
The compression of the facial nerve is at the origin of progressive peripheral facial paralysis.
The symptomatology of the facial nerve neuroma depends essentially on its location.
This kind of tumor originate along the facial nerve and can be mistaken for tumors growing on the acoustic nerve called vestibular schwannoma. How to recognize facial neuroma and how to visualize the difference between these two different tumors?
The facial nerve is the seventh cranial nerve. It is a mixed nerve, and is therefore composed of motor, sensory, special sensory and vegetative nerve fibers. The main clinical feature of schwannoma is its slow evolution, 8.4 years on average between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis2.
The main neighboring tumor is the cochlear, vestibular nerve neuroma, frequently leading to compression of the facial nerve. Significant clinical signs include progressive facial palsy and abrupt onset, regressive and recurrent paralysis, deafness, vertigo, and parotid mass.
The clinical assessment starts with a clinical examination to identify and evaluate the symptoms perceived by the patient. In order to evaluate the attacks of the facial nerve, a brain CT or a brain MRI can be performed. MRI becomes necessary for the topographic location as well as an adequate diagnostic approach to adapt the treatment.