Tumors of the Peripheral Nervous System

Tumors of the Peripheral Nervous System

Thomas, Chinnamma

In keeping with the long and outstanding history of the Atlas of Tumor Pathology, the Tumors of the Peripheral Nervous System by Scheithauer, Woodruff, and Erlandson has distinguished itself as one of the great additions to the series. The authors have thoroughly updated the previous edition and have added an entire new spectrum of topics, including reactive, inflammatory, hamartomatous, and other nonneoplastic peripheral nerve lesions. The chapters on specimen assessment, developmental anatomy, and normal morphology, which include electron micrographs, are welcome additions to the new series. Inclusion of a number of newer entities, such as inflammatory pseudotumor of the peripheral nerves, palisaded encapsulated neuroma, neuromuscular choristoma, and Pacinian neuromas adds to the completeness of the peripheral nerve lesions that may present as “tumors.”

Newer chapters on benign and malignant nonneurogenic tumors, secondary neoplasia, and neurofibromatosis are again needed and appropriate additions to this series. The color photographs, which include intraoperative specimen photographs, routine stains, and special stains including appropriate immunoperoxidase methods, are superb. They are of superior quality and add dimension to the study of peripheral nerve lesions, both neoplastic and nonneoplastic.

The schematic illustrations in various chapters are carefully done. The radiographs (magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography) are of great quality and clarity. Wherever appropriate, the authors have included cytologic and electron microscopic pictures, which are an integral part of diagnostic surgical pathology.

The chapter on malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors and the detailed descriptions of neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2 with cytogenetic and molecular studies are up-to-date and contain information useful in the day-to-day workup of cases in surgical pathology. The inclusion of photographs of some of the pioneers in neuropathology adds to the historical perspective of general pathology and neuropathology in particular.

Overall, this atlas is certainly a needed addition for practitioners involved in diagnostic surgical pathology and neuropathology services.


By Bernd W Scheithauer, James M. Woodruff, and Robert A. Erlandson (Atlas of Tumor Pathology, 3rd series, fascicle 24), 423 pp, with illus, Washington, DC, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 1999.

Copyright College of American Pathologists Oct 2000

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