Glossopharyngeal schwannoma in childhood: Case report and treatment strategy

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Glossopharyngeal (that is, cranial nerve IX) schwannomas are extremely rare nerve sheath tumors that frequently mimic the more common vestibular schwannoma in their clinical as well as radiographic presentation. Although rare in adults, this tumor has not been reported in a child. The authors report the case of a 10-year-old boy who presented with several months of unilateral hearing loss. He was found to have a large right cerebellopontine angle tumor. Given the boy's primary complaint of hearing loss and the appearance of the lesion on imaging, the tumor was initially believed to be a schwannoma of the vestibular nerve. It was found intraoperatively, however, to originate from the glossopharyngeal nerve. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of a glossopharyngeal schwannoma in a child.