Head and neck schwannomas represent a considerable percentage of extracranial schwannomas. However, intraoral locations are very rare. Schwannomas of the tongue base have been sporadically reported. The exceedingly paucity of literature reports in this location made them usually skipped out when evaluating a tongue base mass. In this work, we aimed to review the literature about this tumor and to report a new case.
A comprehensive review in English literature of tongue base schwannomas was done with extraction of the related articles and descriptive analysis of the collected data. Also, we presented a new case of 20-year old girl that presented with a slowly enlarging mass of the tongue over 11 years duration. CT and MRI revealed a large well-defined tongue base mass. Biopsy revealed schwannoma. Transoral complete resection with safety margins was done.
Forty-three cases have been reported in literature with slight female predominance. Transoral approach was the commonest approach (76.7%) with the maximal diameter of schwannoma removed transoral was 7.9 cm.
In conclusion; despite their rarity, tongue base schwannomas should be included when ever a benign swelling is suspected. Transoral approach is still the standard approach with the least morbidities and best functional outcomes