Thorac Cardiovasc Surg
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1712499
Original Thoracic
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Primary Intrathoracic Neurogenic Tumors: Clinical, Pathological, and Long-Term Outcomes

1  Division of Thoracic Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, Milan, Italy
Lorenzo Spaggiari
1  Division of Thoracic Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, Milan, Italy
2  Department of Oncology and Hematology-Oncology-DIPO, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

14 November 2019

21 April 2020

Publication Date:
11 July 2020 (online)


Background Intrathoracic neurogenic tumors (INTs) are uncommon neoplasms arising from nerve tissues. We report our single-center experience in treating these rare INTs.

Methods Using a prospective institutional database, clinical, surgical, and pathological records of patients receiving resection of INT between May 1998 and June 2018 were analyzed. Survival was calculated by Kaplan–Meier method.

Results There were 82 patients (24 females) with an average age of 53 years (29–75 years). Mean diameter was 32 mm (range, 12–68 mm). Histology included 49 schwannomas (11 malignant), 15 neurinomas (2 malignant), 14 neurilemmomas, and 4 paragangliomas. Tumor was located in the posterior mediastinum in 52 patients, in the thoracic inlet in 12, in the anterior mediastinum in 7, in the lung parenchyma in 5, and in the chest wall in 3. In three (3.6%) patients, the tumor showed an intraspinal extension. Symptoms were reported in 51 patients (62.2%) and included cough in 23, dyspnea in 15, neurologic symptoms in 11, and wheezing in 2. Operation was performed by thoracotomy in 42 (51.2%) cases and less invasive technique in 40 (48.8%) cases. Resection was completed in 80 patients (97.6%). Postoperative radiotherapy was administered in two cases. Intraoperative and postoperative mortalities were nil. Morbidity occurred in four patients (4.8%) including two prolonged air leaks, one hemothorax, and one chylothorax. Five-year survival was 97% (mean follow-up, 4.9 years). Malignant tumors had a worse prognosis (p = 0.02). No recurrence occurred during the follow-up neither for malignant nor for benign tumors.

Conclusion The treatment of choice for INTs is complete resection which will be tailored to tumor size, location, and extension. Long-term prognosis is favorable for benign neurogenic tumors.