Other benign / low grade tumors

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 18 June 2018, last major update December 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Neurofibroma mediastinum

Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Neurofibroma. website. Accessed July 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Usually in posterior mediastinum, asymptomatic
  • May be multiple
  • Plexiform tumors are specific for neurofibromatosis
  • Benign
  • Young adults
Gross description
  • Often encapsulated in mediastinum (not at other sites)
  • Usually centered on or grow within a large spinal nerve root
  • May have intradural and extradural components and protrude through neural foramina of vertebral column
  • Plexiform tumors resemble a neural plexus
  • Degenerative changes are common (fat, hemorrhage, cysts)
Gross images

Images hosted on other servers:

Well circumscribed
myxomatous tumor
surrounded by thin

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Uniform growth pattern of bland spindle cells in fascicles, storiform arrays or tactoids (elongated particles that appears as spindle shaped bodies under polarizing microscope)
  • Myxoid stroma, frequent mast cells, no distinct biphasic pattern
  • No thick walled blood vessels
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Fascicular proliferation of spindle tumor cells

Electron microscopy description
  • Fibroblast-like tumor cells with abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, rudimentary cytoplasmic processes, sparse pericellular basal lamina
  • May lack evidence of Schwannian differentiation