Management of Geniculate Ganglion Hemangiomas: Case Series and Systematic Review of the Literature

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To analyze facial nerve (FN) outcomes based on duration of FN palsy and surgical strategy in patients with geniculate ganglion hemangiomas (GGH).

Study Design:

Case series and systematic review of the literature.


Tertiary care center.

Subjects and Methods:

All patients undergoing surgical resection of GGH from 1992 to 2014 were studied and a review of the English literature was performed.


One hundred twenty unique patients (mean age 41.4 yrs, 44% female) were identified with GGH: 8 in the current series and 112 from the literature review. Of these patients, 94% presented with FN weakness, 18% reported hemifacial spasm, and 16% had hearing loss at presentation. Eleven patients underwent an initial period of observation, 6 of which experienced either growth or progression of FN dysfunction. One hundred fourteen subjects ultimately underwent surgical intervention. The average preoperative House–Brackmann (HB) score was 4.6 and the mean duration of preoperative FN palsy was 27 months (range, 1–132). The average postoperative HB score was 3.5 at the last follow-up. Anatomical FN preservation was reported in 44% of patients. Duration of FN palsy ≤12 months was associated with better pre- and postoperative FN outcome (HB 4.1 vs 5.1, p = 0.01 and 2.9 vs 4.0, p < 0.001, respectively). FN preservation was also associated with better postoperative FN outcome compared with interposition grafting (HB 2.6 vs 3.9, p < 0.001).


GGHs are rare benign vascular malformations that present with progressive FN palsy. In most patients, early surgical intervention should be considered since shorter duration of FN paralysis and anatomical preservation of the FN are significant predictors of final FN outcome.

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