Neoplasms of the peripheral nerves are rather common, but tumors involving either the sheath or ganglion of the vagus nerve in the neck are so rare that each case is worthy of record. The well-known neurofibromas of Recklinghausen's disease have been found to arise from the vagus nerve in both the cervical and the thoracic region. But another, different, specific tumor has been found in the cervical vagus, distinct from the classical neurofibroma. This specific well-differentiated tumor, which develops within the nerve sheath, was first described histologically by Verocay in 19081 and called by him "neurinoma" in a report in 1910.2 Since then, the names perineurial fibroblastoma,3 schwannoma, neurilemoma,4 peripheral glioma, and neurilemnoma5 have been used frequently.
The long controversy over the exact histogenesis of these tumors has produced this varied terminology. One group of investigators, led by Penfield,6 contends that the tumor
ALTANY FE, PICKRELL KL. Neurilemomas of the Vagus Nerve in the Neck. AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(5):793-800. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280050061012