Fine-needle aspiration cytology of "ancient" schwannoma.
The term "ancient" schwannoma was proposed for a group of neural tumors showing degenerative changes and marked nuclear atypia. Prior to the realization that the observed atypia was a regressive phenomenon, many of these lesions were erroneously diagnosed as sarcomas. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytologic material from five patients is included in this study. Tissue examined histologically included four resected tumors and 18 gauge core biopsies of one tumor. Aspirates of ancient schwannoma showed many of the same features as FNA of regular schwannoma: aggregates of spindled cells with indistinct cytoplasm and elongate nuclei with blunt point ends. The feature unique to these lesions was nuclear pleomorphism, which was identified in all aspirates. Nuclear inclusions were identified in all but one case. Cystic degeneration, xanthomatous changes, and perivascular sclerosis were identified in excised lesions. Ancient schwannomas show most of the FNA features of benign schwannomas but can demonstrate marked nuclear atypia. The FNA features of ancient schwannoma are important to note because of the potential to confuse this lesion with a more serious one such as sarcoma on FNA.
Dodd, LG; Marom, EM; Dash, RC; Matthews, MR; McLendon, RE
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