Intercostal nerve neurilemmoma

Last revised by Dr Patrick J Rock on 15 Nov 2020

Intercostal nerve neurilemmomas, also known as intercostal nerve schwannoma or neurinoma, are nerve sheath encapsulated tumors affecting intercostal nerves.  

Please refer to the article on schwannomas for a broad discussion about these tumors. 

They account for <10% of primary neural tumors that arise in the chest (majority arise from the mediastinum 3). They occur commonly occur between 20 and 50 years of age 6

Most patients tend to be asymptomatic as lesions are slow-growing 4. Some patients may have pain 7.

Please refer to the general article on schwannomas.

Lesions are usually solid well-circumscribed masses with homogeneous contrast enhancement. They are usually single but can rarely be multiple 4.

Solid nodules iso to slightly hyperdense showing homogeneous enhancement. 

  • T1: iso or slightly hyperintense compared to the adjacent muscles
  • T2: hyperintense compared to the adjacent muscles
  • T1 C+ (Gd): homogenous contrast enhancement

Neurilemmoma is derived from the Greek word eilēma meaning covering, translating to "nerve covering mass".

On imaging consider localized pleural masses including:

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: possible
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: probable
    Drag here to reorder.