Spinal Schwannomas



Spinal schwannomas are the most common nerve sheath tumors of the spine. They are slow-growing benign tumors, typically encapsulated, and composed entirely of well-differentiated Schwann cells. In the vast majority of cases, schwannomas are solitary and sporadic, while multiple schwannomas are associated with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and schwannomatosis. The incidence of spinal schwannomas is around 0.3–0.4/100,000 each year either in solitary or syndromic form. Most of clinical and surgical series show similar data about spinal schwannoma epidemiology—males and females appear to be equally affected, and the onset can be between 25 and 60 years with a prevalence in the fourth and fifth decade even if it can occur at any age. However, in one of the largest series reported by Hirano and colleagues and including 678 spinal tumors, there is a slight prevalence of male (1.3:1) and the onset is reported most frequently between 50 and 59 years. Approximately 90% of cases are solitary and sporadic and 4% arise in the setting of NF2. Of the 5% of schwannomas that are multiple but not associated with NF2, some may be associated with schwannomatosis.


Schwannoma Nerve sheath tumor Schwann cell Neurofibromatosis Schwannomatosis 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryInternational Neuroscience Institute at Otto von Guericke UniversityHannoverGermany

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