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Jugular fossa meningioma: Presentation and treatment options

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October 1, 2009
by Amy L. Rutt, DO, Xiaoli Chen, MD, and Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS


Primary jugular fossa meningiomas are among the rarest subtypes of meningioma. They are intimately related to the lower cranial nerves, the jugular bulb and vein, and the temporal bone, and they have a tendency to extend both intra- and extracranially. The most common morbidity associated with jugular fossa lesions is lower cranial nerve deficits. In these cases, the differential diagnosis and preoperative radiographic diagnosis are very important because preoperative management and operative planning for the jugular fossa subtype differ considerably from those of other types of meningioma. Because of the rarity of this condition, our understanding of its treatment, long-term follow-up, and recurrence is limited. As experience with radiosurgical treatment of all meningiomas is accumulating, we may find that radiosurgery of jugular fossa meningiomas is appropriate. In the meantime, cure is still possible with complete surgical resection, and surgical morbidity can be minimized through meticulous planning and surgical technique. We describe a case of primary jugular fossa meningioma in a 45-year-old man who presented with complaints of chronic left aural fullness, hearing loss, and difficulty understanding voices. Imaging revealed the presence of a destructive jugular fossa mass. The patient underwent surgical resection without complication, and he was free of recurrence at 1 year of follow-up.

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