The neurofibromatoses. Part 2: NF2 and schwannomatosis

Rev Neurol Dis. 2009 Summer;6(3):E81-6.


The neurofibromatoses, including neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2), and schwannomatosis, comprise a group of genetically distinct disorders of the nervous system that are unified by the predisposition to nerve sheath tumors. All 3 types of NF have tumor manifestations (consistent with tumor-suppressor status) and nontumor manifestations. In the second part of this 2-part series, the manifestations of NF2 and schwannomatosis are reviewed. NF2 is characterized by bilateral vestibular schwannomas, meningiomas, ependymomas, cataracts, and epiretinal membranes. The combination of complete hearing loss from vestibular schwannomas and blindness from bifacial weakness is a devastating potential outcome of NF2. Schwannomatosis is characterized by multiple nonvestibular, nonintradermal schwannomas and chronic pain. Recently, germline alterations in the SMARCB1/INI1 gene have been implicated in both familial and sporadic forms of this disorder. Neurologists play an important role in the diagnosis and management of the neurofibromatoses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blindness / etiology
  • Blindness / physiopathology
  • Cranial Nerves / pathology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neurilemmoma / genetics
  • Neurilemmoma / pathology*
  • Neurilemmoma / physiopathology*
  • Neurofibromatosis 2 / genetics
  • Neurofibromatosis 2 / pathology*
  • Neurofibromatosis 2 / physiopathology*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / genetics
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / pathology
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / genetics
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Spinal Nerves / pathology*