Demographic, Clinical and Histopathological Features of Oral Neural Neoplasms: A Retrospective Study

Head Neck Pathol. 2019 Jun;13(2):208-214. doi: 10.1007/s12105-018-0943-1. Epub 2018 Jun 21.


Intraoral neural neoplasms though unusual may be clinically significant. The aim of this study was to categorize and evaluate oral neural tumors in a large oral pathology biopsy service. With IRB approval, a retrospective search of all neural neoplasms of the oral cavity in the archives of the University of Florida Oral Pathology Biopsy Service spanning from 1994 to 2015 was performed. Extraoral cases as well as cases with insufficient patient information were excluded. A total of 340 out of 164,578 submitted specimens in a 22 year period (0.2%) were included with a mean age of 43.3 years (range: 6-89), and 44% male and 56% female. The most commonly affected locations were: tongue (37.5%), palate (22%), lip (19%), and gingiva (14%). The microscopic diagnoses rendered, in descending order of frequency were: neurofibromas (NFs): 123 (36%), granular cell tumor (GCT): 108 (32%), schwannomas: 61 (17%), palisaded encapsulated neuromas: 39 (11%), benign neural lesion not otherwise specified: 8 (2%), and mucosal neuroma c/w multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B (MEN 2B): 1 (< 0.5%). Six cases of NF reported a history of neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF 1). Four cases showed multifocal lesions. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on equivocal cases (25% of the lesions) and all were confirmed by their S-100 positivity. Intraoral neural neoplasms, though uncommon should be in the differential diagnosis of oral soft tissue entities and specific consideration to syndromal linkage is paramount as this may impact patient management.

Keywords: Granular cell tumor; Neurofibroma; Oral neural lesions; Palisaded encapsulated neuroma; Peripheral nerve sheath tumor; Schwannoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult