The subparaneurial compartment: A new concept in the clinicoanatomic classification of peripheral nerve lesions

Nikhil K. Prasad, Stepan Capek, Godard C.W. De Ruiter, Kimberly K. Amrami, Robert J. Spinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Based on our experience in treating peripheral non-neural sheath derived pathology, we have identified a novel pattern of lesion progression along the anatomic course of nerves. This report highlights the existence of a subparaneurial compartment around peripheral nerves. We first applied an anatomic framework to review MR images and intraoperative photographs of patients treated by the senior author in the last 10 years. After identifying a pattern that was consistent with subparaneurial lesion progression, we searched for other examples of cases that might exhibit this pattern. Four examples of subparaneurial pathology were identified, a hemangioma of the ulnar nerve, a ganglion cyst of the common fibular nerve, a lymphoma of the sciatic nerve and a lipoma of the ulnar nerve. All four patients were operated on and had intraoperative photographs; three had high resolution MR imaging. This report highlights the existence of pathology contained within a subparaneurial compartment, outside of the epineurium, that follows the course of the nerve and surrounds it circumferentially. The subparaneurial localization of peripheral nerve lesions has hitherto received little attention. Identification of this new pattern on preoperative MRI may have implications for surgical management. Clin. Anat. 28:925-930, 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-930
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • MRI
  • non-nerve sheath tumor
  • paraneurium
  • peripheral nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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