BACKGROUND: Granular cell tumor (GCT) is a relatively uncommon predominantly benign lesion that usually presents as a solitary, painless cutaneous or submucosal nodule. Most of these tumors are found in the tongue. Although GCT is believed to have a Schwann cell origin, reports of GCT in peripheral and spinal nerves are uncommon.
CASE DESCRIPTION: We report the case of a 43-year-old man with neck pain and hand numbness who was found to have a heterogeneously enhancing left-sided C2 nerve sheath tumor on magnetic resonance imaging. He underwent C2 decompression and resection of the left-sided C2 nerve sheath tumor with subsequent C1-C2 arthrodesis and instrumentation. Histopathologic review showed GCT. Review of the literature yielded 4 other reported cases of GCT within the vicinity of a spinal nerve root. Only one of these explicitly showed spinal nerve root involvement. This is a rare case of a GCT presenting as cervical nerve root mass, and what we believe is the first reported case of this in the literature.
CONCLUSIONS: The surgeon should be aware of GCT when encountering spinal nerve root tumors because it may alter the surgical approach necessary for adequate resection compared with more commonly encountered nerve sheath tumors.
- Cervical spine
- Granular cell tumor
- Nerve sheath tumor
- Spinal nerve root
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