Trigeminal schwannoma (TS) is an uncommon and histologically benign intracranial lesion that can involve any segment of the fifth cranial nerve. Given its often impressive size at diagnosis and frequent involvement of critical neurovascular structures of the skull base, it represents a challenging entity to treat. Pediatric TS is particularly rare and presents unique challenges. Similarly, tumors with extension into multiple compartments (e.g., middle cranial fossa, posterior cranial fossa, extracranial spaces) are notoriously difficult to treat surgically. Combined or staged surgical approaches are typically required to address them, with radiosurgical treatment as an adjunct.
The authors presented the unusual case of a 9-year-old boy with a large, recurrent multicompartmental TS involving Meckel’s cave, the cerebellopontine angle, and the infratemporal fossa. Near-total resection was achieved using a frontotemporal-orbitozygomatic craniotomy with a combined interdural and extradural approach.
The case report adds to the current literature on multicompartmental TSs in children and their management. The authors also provided a simplified classification of TS that can be generalized to other skull base tumors. Given a lack of precedent, the authors intended to add to the discussion regarding surgical management of these rare and challenging skull base lesions.