Intrathoracic neurogenic tumors—50 years': experience in a Japanese institution

Takeda, Shin-ichi; Miyoshi, Shinichiro; Minami, Masato; Matsuda, Hikaru
October 2004
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Oct2004, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p807
Academic Journal
Intrathoracic neurogenic tumors are relatively uncommon, and there have been few reports regarding their entire clinical characteristics in the Asian population. Objectives: We retrospectively reviewed our Japanese institutional experience of intrathoracic neurogenic tumors, with emphasis on the clinical spectrum. Methods: We analyzed the records of 146 patients with intrathoracic neurogenic tumors who were treated over the past 50 years. There were 60 pediatric and 86 adult patients (74 males and 72 females). Results: There were 51 ganglioneuromas, 37 schwannomas, 30 neurofibromas, 18 neuroblstomas, 5 gangliobastomas, and 5 others, of which 136 cases were located in the posterior mediastinum, 9 in the chest wall, and 1 in the lung parenchyma. Neurogenic tumors were most commonly seen as a pediatric mediastinal tumor (46.2%), as compared to 11.2% in the adult population (P<0.001). Eighty-four percent of adult patients and 60% of pediatric patients were asymptomatic. In thirteen patients (8.9%), the tumor showed an intraspinal extension, the so-called dumbbell-type. Overall, 20.5% of the neoplasms were malignant, occurring predominantly in the first 5 years of life. Complete resection was performed in 95.7% cases for benign tumors and 63.3% for malignant tumors, including a laminectomy for six cases of the dumbbell-type. There were no operative deaths and minimal morbidity. Conclusions: Age seemed to be the most important clinical parameter for distinguishing between histological type and rate of malignancy for neurogenic tumors. Recognition of this clinical spectrum will lead to the immediate and appropriate surgical intervention.


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