Peripheral nerve fibers are sheathed by Schwann cells, which occasionally give rise to a Schwannoma (also termed neurilemoma), a circumscribed tumor that typically occurs along the peripheral aspect of a nerve. Unlike neurofibromas, schwannomas often can be excised without sacrificing the parent nerve, leaving the patient functionally intact. Depending on the degree of microscopic microcystic changes, schwannomas can have a soft myxoid appearance on macroscopic examination, like the one shown here. Schwannomas are usually sporadic, but may rarely arise in patients with familial syndromes, such as Neurofibromatosis type II (NF2) or Schwannomatosis.
For further study on this topic and others related to neuropathology and neuroanatomy, the following books come highly recommended, and a small portion of the proceeds (or any Amazon purchase through these links) help with expenses of hosting this site: