Pathology of the skull base

The skull base is an extremely complex anatomical region in which an enormous variety of pathological entities may be encountered. These include congenital, inflammatory, and vascular lesions, as well as benign and malignant neoplasms.

Surgery of the skull base is technically challenging, and many lesions were previously deemed inoperable due to the close proximity of many vital neural and vascular structures. Though there can be e variety of tumors arising from the skull base, the most common tumors are Vestibular Schwannomas, Meningiomas, Paragangliomas and Petrous bone cholesteatomas

Vestibular Schwannomas

A vestibular schwannoma, often called an acoustic neuroma, is a benign primary intracranial tumour of the myelin-forming cells of the vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII).



A paraganglioma is rare neuroendocrine neoplasm that may develop at various body sites (including the head, neck, thorax and abdomen).



Meningiomas are a diverse set of tumors arising from the meninges, the membranous layers surrounding the central nervous system.


Neuroma of multiple nerves

Like all other cranial nerves mixed nerves (IX-Glossopharyngeal, X-Vagus, XI-Spinal Accessory, defined as "mixed" for the dual motor function/sensory) may be the site of origin of benign tumours that arise from their sheaths coating and are called neuromas or Schwannomas.