Neurogenic tumours

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Neurogenic tumours are the cause of approximately 90% of posterior mediastinal masses. They can be subdivided into three groups by their location and involvement of peripheral nerves or sympathetic chain.

  1. peripheral nerve sheath tumour
  2. sympathetic ganglia tumour
  3. paraganglioma

Peripheral nerve sheath tumours and paragangliomas are far more common in adults while the sympathetic ganglia tumours are more common in children.

These tumours manifest as round paravertebral masses that span one or two vertebral bodies. They are homogenous, soft-tissue attenuation masses at CT and the commonest cause of posterior mediastinal and paravertebral masses.  They may cause widening of the neural foramen and thickening of the adjacent posterior rib.

Schwannoma and neurofibroma are by far the most common type of neurogenic tumour in adults.

These tumours tend to present as elongated paraspinal masses that span multiple vertebral levels.  Intra-tumoural calcification is common.

Neuroblastoma and ganglioneuroblastoma are most commonly seen in children and in a child they comprise the most common neurogenic tumour.

These tumours are similar histologically to phaeochromocytoma and can be functioning or non-functioning.

See also

Share article

Article Information

rID: 14455
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Neurogenic tumor
  • Neurogenic tumour
  • Neurogenic tumors

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and Figures

  • Drag
    NF1

Multiple ner...
    Case 1 : NF1 - multiple nerve schwannomas
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    NF2 cor
    Case 2 : NF2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Posterior Mediast...
    Case 3 : posterior mediastinal mass
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Schwannoma
    Case 3 : schwannoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.