1Department of Neurosurgery, National Centre for Neurosurgery, Beaumont hospital,, Dublin, Republic of Ireland; 2Department of Neuroradiology, National Centre for, Neurosurgery, Beaumont hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland; and 3Department of , Neuropathology, National Centre for Neurosurgery, Beaumont hospital, Dublin,, Republic of Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      SOLITARY PARAGANGLIOMA OF THE HYPOGLOSSAL NERVE:: Case Report BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE:: We report the case history of solitary hypoglossal paraganglioma in a 64-year-old woman. The surgical difficulties encountered in the removal of this challenging tumour are discussed with literature review. CLINICAL PRESENTATION:: A 64-year-old woman presented with a short history of dysphonia, occasional dysphagia, tinnitus, altered taste, and unilateral left sided tongue wasting. On examination there was left lower motor hypoglossal paralysis. Imaging showed a discrete enhancing lobulated mass, measuring 2cm x 2cm, in the region of the hypoglossal nerve extending into the hypoglossal canal suggestive of hypoglossal paraganglioma. A left dorsolateral sub occipital craniotomy was carried out in the sitting position. The hypoglossal nerve appeared to be enlarged and the jugular foramen was normal. Complete surgical debulking of the tumour was not attempted due to its vascular nature. The nerve was decompressed and neuropathology confirmed a low grade paraganglioma arising from the hypoglossal nerve. The patient is scheduled to receive stereotactic radiation for further management. CONCLUSION:: When a case of solitary hypoglossal paraganglioma is encountered in clinical practice, the aim of management should be mainly focussed on achieving a diagnosis and preserving the hypoglossal nerve function. If there is evidence of vascularity in the lesion noted in the MRI scan, a pre-operative angiogram should be performed with a view for embolisation.We decompressed the hypoglossal canal and achieved a good improvement in the patient's symptoms. We recommend stereotactic radiosurgery for remnant and small hypoglossal tumours and regular follow up with MRI scans.