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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2009 Sep;151(9):1089-98. doi: 10.1007/s00701-009-0380-8. Epub 2009 May 16.

Management of brachial plexus region tumours and tumour-like conditions: relevant diagnostic and surgical features in a consecutive series of eighteen patients.

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  • 1Peripheral Nerve Surgery Unit, Department of Neurosurgery, São Paulo University Medical School, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. mgsiqueira@uol.com.br



Tumours of the brachial plexus region are rare and most publications are case reports or studies with a small series of patients. The aim of this study is to present our experience in managing these lesions.


We review 18 patients with tumours in the brachial plexus region submitted to surgical treatment in a 6 year period, including their clinical presentation, neuro-imaging data, surgical findings and outcome.


The tumours comprised a heterogeneous group of lesions, including schwannomas, neurofibromas, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST), sarcomas, metastases, desmoids and an aneurysmal bone cyst. The most common presentation was an expanding lump (83.33%). Eleven tumours were benign and 7 were malignant. Neurofibromatosis was present in only 2 patients (11.11%). Gross total resection was achieved in 14 patients and sub-total resection in the others. Only 3 patients presented with new post-operative motor deficits. The incidence of complications was low (16.5 %).


The majority of tumours were benign and most of them could be excised with a low incidence of additional deficits. Some of the malignant tumours could be controlled by surgery plus adjuvant therapy, but this category is still associated with high morbidity and mortality rates.

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