Soft tissue

Peripheral nerve

Other benign


Topic Completed: 1 November 2012

Minor changes: 17 September 2020

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Plexiform schwannoma

Vijay Shankar, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 3,058
Page views in 2021 to date: 3,151
Cite this page: Shankar V. Schwannoma-plexiform. website. Accessed October 21st, 2021.
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

Contributed by 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

Case #50

Plexiform architecture

Nuclear palisading

Cellular areas


Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.

Images hosted on other servers:


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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