Laryngeal schwannomas (neurilemmomas) are extremely rare, and they present the otorhinolaryngologist with diagnostic and management challenges. These lesions usually present as a submucosal mass, and they are always a potential threat to the airway. We describe the case of a 75-year-old woman with a laryngeal schwannoma that arose from the left postcricoid area and covered the piriform sinus and arytenoid cartilage on that side. The tumor was completely excised under direct laryngoscopy with the use of a CO2 laser, and preservation of the mucosal lining of the larynx was achieved.
Schwannomas (neurilemmomas) are benign encapsulated tumors that originate in the Schwann cells that sheathe the fibers of the peripheral, cranial, and autonomic nerves outside the central nervous system.1, 2 Malignant transformation is rare. The head and neck region is frequently involved (25 to 45% of cases), but schwannomas of the larynx are rare. They are presumed to arise from the internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve.