Soft tissue
Peripheral nerve tumors
Plexiform schwannoma


Topic Completed: 1 November 2012

Revised: 24 October 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Plexiform schwannoma

Vijay Shankar, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 2,971
Page views in 2020 to date: 404
Cite this page: Shankar V. Plexiform schwannoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/softtissueschwannomaplexiform.html. Accessed February 21st, 2020.
Definition / general
  • 5% of schwannomas
  • Pattern not strongly associated with neurofibromatosis 1 or 2
  • Usually superficial, in dermis or subcutaneous tissue
Case reports
Gross images

Images hosted on PathOut servers:

Courtesy of Mark R. Wick, M.D.

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Plexiform architecture with nuclear palisading
  • Biphasic pattern may not be prominent
  • Often cellular with hyperchromatic nuclei and mitotic activity
  • No necrosis, no myxoid change
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut servers:

Plexiform architecture

Nuclear palisading

Cellular areas

S100

Courtesy of Mark R. Wick, M.D.



Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Plexiform

Positive stains
  • S100 (strong staining of nodules but not intervening stroma)
Differential diagnosis
  • MPNST: may be multinodular, S100 weak / negative, should be sampled extensively to rule out a plexiform schwannoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2005;29:1042)
  • Plexiform neurofibroma: early childhood, associated with neurofibromatosis type 1; found with grossly enlarged and tortuous nerves; hypocellular with myxoid background; no biphasic pattern; may occasionally show nuclear palisading; S100+ but only scattered cells
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