CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2017; 21(04): 408-413
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1598609
Systematic Review
Thieme Revinter Publicações Ltda Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Clinical Features and Surgical Treatment of Schwannoma Affecting the Base of the Tongue: A Systematic Review

Jenna Lamendola Sitenga1, Gregory Alan Aird1, Austin Nguyen1, Adam Vaudreuil1, Christopher Huerter1
  • 1Department of Clinical and Translational Science, Creighton University School of Medicine Ringgold Standard Institution, Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Further Information

Publication History

11 August 2016

21 December 2016

Publication Date:
13 February 2017 (eFirst)


Introduction Schwannomas of the head and neck account for 25–40% of all cases, with presentation at the base of the tongue as the most frequent site for intraoral tumors.

Objectives Here, a systematic review was conducted to include 15 cases of patients with schwannoma of the base of the tongue.

Data Synthesis Most patients presented with a single, painless, well-encapsulated nodule at the base of the tongue. These nodules were slow-growing, with an average of 13.3 months from onset to presentation. Most cases were accompanied by airway obstruction, indicated by symptoms of dysphagia, dysarthria, snoring, and sleep apnea. Overall, the histological studies were consistent with a benign schwannoma with a palisading Antoni A and Antoni B pattern without malignant changes in cell morphology. These tumors were treated via complete surgical excision, and all cases achieved full remission by final follow-up.

Conclusion Surgical removal is the primary mode of treatment with excellent postoperative prognosis and rare instances of recurrence. Given the rarity of this tumor, this review of available case studies serves to comprehensively describe clinical presentation and surgical treatment approaches to tongue base schwannoma.