Soft tissue tumors

Topic Completed: 1 December 2012

Minor changes: 5 December 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Neurofibroma mediastinum

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
Page views in 2020: 1,176
Page views in 2021 to date: 1,439
Cite this page: Gulwani H. Neurofibroma. website. Accessed August 4th, 2021.
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

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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

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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
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