Vascular alterations in schwannoma

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Schwannomas or neurilemmoma are benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors, which most frequently occur at the cerebellopontine angle. This morphologic study examines vascular alterations in these tumors, comparing them to other benign spindle cell neoplasms of the nervous system, while correlating these findings with evidence of vascular permeability. Thirty-four nervous system spindle cell neoplasms, sixteen schwannomas, nine fibroblastic/ transitional meningiomas and nine peripheral neurofibromas were stained with H&E, Prussian-blue stain, and immunoreacted for factor VIII-related antigen and interstitial albumin. Schwannomas had focal clusters of vascular proliferation including groups of small thin-walled vessels, as well as larger vessels with extensive hyalinization. Neurofibromas and meningiomas almost uniformly had modest numbers of well-defined, thin walled individual vessels. Free hemosiderin and hemosiderin-laden macrophages were frequently identified in schwannomas. Prussian-blue stain for iron revealed focal or fairly widespread positivity in almost all schwannomas, only one meningioma and none of the neurofibromas. Immunoreaction for albumin demonstrated leakage of vascular proteins into the interstitium confirming tumor vessel permeability in schwannomas. Neither neurofibromas nor meningiomas displayed any detectable interstitial albumin. The above findings confirm a degree of reactive proliferation of vessels in schwannoma along with functional deficits in their vascular integrity with permeability to protein and blood. The presence of hyalinized vessels, hemosiderin, both free and within macrophages, and more readily evident Prussian blue staining, may provide an additional diagnostic clue in discriminating between histologically similar spindle cell lesions. The study however raises the possibility that these changes likely precede or facilitate the degenerative 'ancient change' seen in some schwannoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4032-4038
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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