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Mod Pathol. 1997 Nov;10(11):1075-81.

Giant plexiform schwannoma: a report of two cases with soft tissue and visceral involvement.

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First Department of Pathology, University of Tokushima School of Medicine, Japan.


We report two cases of massive, solitary, plexiform schwannoma. One was a 9-cm subcutaneous lesion on the hip of a 72-year-old man who had become aware of the slow-growing tumor 50 years earlier; the other is the first reported plexiform schwannoma to arise in a visceral organ: it arose in the ascending colon of a 54-year-old man and exhibited a dumbbell configuration with submucosal and subserosal components. Neither patient had neurofibromatosis or schwannomatosis. Both tumors were well-circumscribed and multinodular, and both showed a plexiform architecture. Microscopically, the nodules were composed primarily of Antoni A tissue, replete with nuclear palisading and Verocay bodies. Examination by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy demonstrated the features of well-differentiated Schwann cells; nodules were surrounded by attenuated, residual perineurium. Both patients followed a benign clinical course, without recurrence or metastasis. Neither the large tumor size nor the unusual locations affected the biologic behavior of these neoplasms. A massive plexiform schwannoma must be distinguished from a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor and from a plexiform neurofibroma, a tumor prone to malignant transformation.

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