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Skull base surgery. 1991 January; 1(1): 59–63.
PMCID: PMC1656315

Hemangioma of the Facial Nerve

Role of the Geniculate Capillary Plexus


Hemangioma of the facial nerve may occur more frequently than previously recognized. This benign vascular tumor most often arises in the area of the geniculate ganglion, although the reason for this site of predilection is not known. Using silicon injection and cross-sectional vessel counts, we recently demonstrated the presence of a geniculate capillary plexus (GCP) in the cat. The present study was designed to identify a similar GCP in man, if present, and to relate if to the site of predilection of hemangioma of the facial nerve. Twenty-five human facial nerves were studied in horizontally sectioned temporal bones. A clinical case of hemangioma arising at the geniculate ganglion is presented. The human geniculate ganglion has a very rich capillary plexus in contrast to the poor intrinsic vasculature of the adjacent labyrinthine segment and nioderate vasculature of the tympanic segment of the facial nerve. We hypothesize that the GCP is the origin of most hemangiomas of facial nerve. The anatomic distinctness of the geniculate gangion and GCP from the facial nerve may allow removal of these tumors with preservation of motor function in certain cases.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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