What are neurogenic tumors?
Neurogenic tumors are the most common cause of posterior mediastinal masses. Schwannomas and neurofibromas arise from peripheral nerves and are more common in adults. Ganglioneuromas, ganglioneuroblastomas, and neuroblastomas arise from sympathetic ganglia and are more common in children. Paragangliomas arise from paraganglia and are less common.
Schwannomas and neurofibromas are the most common mediastinal neurogenic tumors and are benign. Schwannomas are encapsulated tumors composed of Schwann cells and loose reticular tissue; arise from the nerve sheath; and are often heterogeneous with hemorrhagic, cystic, necrotic, calcific, or fatty change. Neurofibromas are usually homogeneous nonencapsulated tumors composed of Schwann cells, nerve fibers, and fibroblasts.