Background and aims: Multinodular/plexiform schwannomas and neurofibromas of major nerves are rare: before surgery, differential diagnosis among these two uncommon variants is challenging. For both forms, surgical removal is recommended in case of progressive growth and worsening of neurological symptoms. Surgery has a higher risk of neurological damage than conventional schwannomas or neurofibromas. In literature, a comparison among these rare tumors is usually limited to the pathological aspect while specific surgical and clinical management indications are lacking. Cutaneous tumors of both forms arising from terminal peripheral nerves’ branches might be treated by plastic surgeons while tumors of major nerves remain under neurosurgical competence. Here we report our recent neurosurgical experience on the matter, to furnish useful suggestions for the management of these tumors. Method: We analyzed the clinical, radiological, and pathological data in a consecutive case series of plexiform/multinodular nerve tumors operated at our institution in the last five years. Results: In our series, neurofibroma type of plexiform tumors was more frequent than schwannoma type: two sporadic plexiform-multinodular schwannomas (patients 1, and 5) and three multinodular/plexiform Neurofibromatosis familial (Neurofibromatosis 1 / NF-1) (patients 2, 3, and 4). Surgery was complex when major nerves were involved. The early outcome appeared mostly related to the pre-surgical neurological conditions and histological grading. Interpretation: Although sharing some features, multinodular-plexiform schwannomas and neurofibromas have consistent differences from the clinical, surgical and pathological points of view.
- Multinodular/plexiform tumors
- Peripheral nerves
- Surgical removal
- Neurofibromatosis 1
- Peripheral Nerves