FOUR patients with tumors of the upper cervical cranial nerves have been studied. All the lesions were neurilemmomas, 3 arising from the vagus nerve and 1 from the hypoglossal. All 4 cases presented a syndrome consisting of dysphagia due to pharyngeal compression and pulsation of the tumor due to medial displacement of the internal carotid artery. In addition, there was a paralysis of the vocal cord on the same side in 2 of the patients whose tumor arose from the vagus nerve. This triad of findings enabled us to make a clinical diagnosis of the lesion in the last 2 patients. The cases are being reported because, as far as we can ascertain, this syndrome has not previously been described.
The neurilemmoma is not a common tumor, but it is by no means rare. The importance of these lesions lies in the fact that, whereas they are benign encapsulated tumors