Neurogenic tumors of the neck

Radiol Clin North Am. 2000 Sep;38(5):1077-90. doi: 10.1016/s0033-8389(05)70222-0.


Neurogenic tumors of the neck occur in children and adults. Important parameters to aid in the differential diagnosis are age at presentation, location, and a history of NF or multiple endocrine neoplasia. Schwannoma is the most common solitary neurogenic tumor in the neck and is usually seen in patients between 20 and 50 years of age. The plexiform neurofibroma and multiple localized neurofibromas are characteristic of NF1. MPNSTs are uncommon aggressive lesions that can arise de novo in patients with NF (10% to 30%) and postirradiation. Neuroblastic tumors consist of neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroblastoma, and ganglioneuroma. These tumors typically arise in the chest and abdomen but occasionally present as a primary neck mass. A neck mass with a histologic diagnosis of neuroblastoma is, however, more commonly metastatic from an abdominal neuroblastoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / secondary
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue / diagnosis*
  • Nerve Sheath Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnosis
  • Neuroblastoma / diagnosis
  • Neuroblastoma / secondary
  • Neurofibroma / diagnosis
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / diagnosis
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / diagnosis