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Facial nerve schwannomas are uncommon benign tumors that originate along the facial nerve. Those presenting on imaging as an enhancing cerebellopontine angle (CPA) mass can be difficult to distinguish from vestibular schwannomas and meningiomas.1 Proper diagnosis of CPA lesions is paramount, however, as pathologic type dictates surgical approach and goals.
The geniculate ganglion is located in the temporal bone and contains cell bodies for facial nerve–specialized taste and general somatic sensory fibers. In the absence of pathology, this structure does not enhance with intravenous gadolinium.
Fabiano AJ, Plunkett RJ, Gibbons KJ. Diagnosis of Facial Nerve Schwannoma by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Enhancement of the Geniculate Ganglion. Arch Neurol. 2010;67(1):112-113. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.290