Plexiform schwannoma: a clinicopathologic overview with emphasis on the head and neck region

Jena C. Berg, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Robert J. Spinner, Carl M. Allen, Ioannis G. Koutlas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Plexiform schwannoma is a rare variant of Schwann cell tumor. Occurring in either conventional or cellular type, they are characterized either grossly or histologically by a plexiform pattern of intraneural growth often with multinodularity. Ordinary as well as plexiform schwannoma typically arise in superficial soft tissues and show a predilection for the head and neck region. Infrequent examples arise in the setting of neurofibromatosis type 2 or schwannomatosis. The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of plexiform schwannoma by location, to determine their syndromic association, and to analyze the clinicopathologic features of tumors affecting the head and neck region. It was found, in this not entirely random population, that plexiform schwannoma represented 4.3% of all schwannomas, 23% of head and neck region examples, 15% of cutaneous schwannomas, and lastly, 2% of 322 oral nerve sheath tumors made separately available for review. Furthermore, the association with neurofibromatosis type 2 and with schwannomatosis was 5% each.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-640
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Epidemiology
  • Head and neck
  • Histopathology
  • Nerve
  • Schwannoma
  • Soft tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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