Publication Date



Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons


BACKGROUND: Intracranial carotid sympathetic plexus (CSP) nerve sheath tumors have rarely been reported in the literature. This study describes the first reported case of a CSP neurofibroma and the first case of a CSP nerve sheath tumor treated via an endoscopic endonasal approach followed by adjuvant radiosurgery.

OBSERVATIONS: A 53-year-old man presented with 3 days of headaches and diplopia and was found to have a complete left abducens nerve palsy. Computed tomography (CT) revealed a smoothly dilated left carotid canal, CT angiography revealed a superiorly displaced left internal carotid artery (ICA), and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a T2-hyperintense and avidly enhancing lesion in the left cavernous sinus encasing the ICA. The patient underwent subtotal resection via an endoscopic transsphenoidal transcavernous approach followed by Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

LESSONS: Nerve sheath tumors arising from the CSP are extremely rare but need to be considered when assessing unusual cavernous sinus lesions. The clinical presentation is dependent on the anatomical location of the tumor and its relationship to the ICA. The optimal treatment paradigm is unknown.


cavernous sinus, sympathetic plexus, neurofibroma, carotid canal, schwannoma



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