, Volume 139, Issue 12, pp 1108-1116

Benign neural sheath tumours of major nerves: Characteristics in 119 surgical cases

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Peripheral benign nerve sheath tumours are infrequent tumours and affect major nerve trunks. Some authors have indicated a high and prohibitive incidence of neurological injury in resection of these lesions. The authors describe their findings in a retrospective study comprising 119 patients with spontaneous benign nerve sheath tumours of the peripheral nervous system. Seventy-three patients had a schwannoma, 41 had neurofibroma and 5 had plexiform neurofibroma; 25 of the 119 patients suffered from neurofibromatosis. All schwannomas were excised completely and the outcome of patients was 41.0% improved, 6.8% worsened, 52.0% unchanged. Twenty-eight neurofibromas were excised completely and 13 subtotally; the outcome for patients was 19.5% improved, 19.5% worsened and 61% unchanged. All plexiform neurofibromas were removed subtotally and the outcome for patients was 20% improved and 80% unchanged. The best surgical results at average follow-up of 6 years were observed in the patients with schwannoma, the worst in those with plexiform neurofibroma. Our results demonstrated that it is often possible to remove schwannomas as well as neurofibromas with an acceptable risk of injury to the nerve.