Primary brachial plexus tumors: imaging, surgical, and pathological findings in 25 patients.

Devin K. Binder, Justin S. Smith, Nicholas M. Barbaro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Scopus citations


OBJECT: The authors report on the treatment of primary brachial plexus tumors in 25 patients at the University of California, San Francisco. They compare their findings with those obtained in similar series. METHODS: The authors reviewed the electronic and medical records, radiological images, operative reports, and pathological findings in 25 consecutive cases of primary brachial plexus tumors. Cases of metastatic lesions or adjacent neoplasms extending into and involving the brachial plexus were excluded. At presentation patients ranged in age from 19 to 71 years (mean 47-15 years), and neurofibromatosis was present in eight patients (32%). Presenting signs and symptoms included palpable mass (60%), numbness/paresthesias (44%), radiating pain (44%), local pain (16%), and weakness (12%). Duration of symptoms ranged from 2 months to 10 years. Neuroimaging revealed lesions ranging widely in size (volume approximately 1 to 100 ml). Pathological diagnoses included schwannoma (15 [60%]), neurofibroma (five [20%]), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (four [16%]), and desmoid tumor (one [4%]). CONCLUSIONS: Primary tumors arising in the brachial plexus are rare. Careful workup, surgical technique, and attention to pathological diagnosis optimize management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E11
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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