Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 665
Clinical Information 133 CI
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A schwannoma (also known as an "neurilemoma, neuroma,neurolemoma and "Schwann cell tumor is a benign nerve sheath tumor composed of Schwann cells, which normally produce the insulating myelin sheath covering peripheral nerves.
Schwannomas are homogeneous tumors, consisting only of Schwann cells. The tumor cells always stay on the outside of the nerve, but the tumor itself may either push the nerve aside and/or up against a bony structure (thereby possibly causing damage). Schwannomas are relatively slow-growing. For reasons not yet understood, schwannomas are mostly benign and less than 1% become malignant, degenerating into a form of cancer known as neurofibrosarcoma. These masses are generally contained within a capsule, and so surgical removal is often successful.
Schwannomas can be associated with neurofibromatosis type II, which may be due to a loss-of-function mutation in the protein merlin. They are universally S-100 positive, which is a marker for cells of neural crest cell origin.
Schwannomas of the head and neck are a fairly common occurrence and can be found incidentally in 3-4% of patients at autopsy. Most common of these is an acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the vestibulocochlear nerve that may lead to tinnitus and hearing loss on the affected side. Outside the cranial nerves, schwannomas may present on the flexor surfaces of the limbs. Rare occurrences of these tumors in the penis have been documented in the literature.[
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP