Ancient schwannoma involving the median nerve: A case report and review of the literature
Ancient schwannomas are benign long standing schwannomas of the neural sheaths. Histological findings are these seen as in conventional schwannomas, but ancient schwannomas additionally demonstrate cystic hemorrhagic changes and degenerative nuclei with pleomorphism and hyperchromasia. Due to the nuclear atypia, and cystic degeneration, ancient schwannomas might be confused with malignant tumors on histology and imaging, leading to a radical surgical approach. The median nerve is rarely affected. We present a rare case of an ancient schwannoma involving the median nerve at the mid humerus. The tumor slowly grew up within ten years and become symptomatic with local pain, mild numbness in the distribution of the median nerve in the palm and Tinel's test. The tumor was successfully removed by separating it from the nerve fascicles to negative margins. Post-operatively local symptoms relieved but minor sensory loss in the median nerve distribution in the palm was noticed which improved in the following six months. Ancient schwannomas can be misdiagnosed as sarcomas due to specific imaging and histologic findings. Patients' physical examination, history and fine radiologic and pathology features should be cautiously interpreted in order to achieve correct diagnosis and avoid unnecessary wide tumor excisions. © 2013 The Author(s).