Lipoma causing glossopharyngeal neuralgia: a case report and review of literature

Mi Sun Choi, Young Im Kim, Young Hwan Ahn
Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2014, 56 (2): 149-51
The cerebello-pontine angle lipomas causing trigeminal neuralgia or hemifacial spasm are rare. A lipoma causing glossopharyngel neuralgia is also very rare. A 46-year-old woman complained of 2-year history of severe right throat pain, with ipsilateral episodic otalgic pain. The throat pain was described as an episodic lancinating character confined to the throat. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a suspicious offending posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) compressing lower cranial nerves including glossopharyngeal nerve. At surgery, a soft, yellowish mass (2×3×3 mm in size) was found incorporating the lateral aspect of proximal portion of 9th and 10th cranial nerves. Only microvascular decompression of the offending PICA was performed. Additional procedure was not performed. Her severe lancinating pain remained unchanged, immediate postoperatively. The neuralgic pain disappeared over a period of several weeks. In this particular patient with a fatty neurovascular lump causing glossopharyngeal neuralgia, microvascular decompression of offending vessel alone was enough to control the neuralgic pain.

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