Journal of Korean Endocrine Society 1998;13(4):640-645.
Published online January 1, 2001.
2 Cases of Peripheral Nerve Tumors of Anterior Neck Simulating Thyroid Nodule.
Sung Kil Lim, Young Duk Song, Hyun Chul Lee, Kap Bum Huh, Kyung Rae Kim, Soo Yeon Nam, Byung Ki Choi, Sang Soo Chung, Kyung Wook Kim, So Rae Choi
Peripheral nerve tumors are mostly benign and can arise on any nerve trunk or twig. Although peripheral nerve tumors can occur anywhere in the body, including the spinal roots and cauda equina, many cases are subcutaneous in location and present as a soft swelling, sometimes with a purplish discoloration of skin. There are two major catagories, schwannoma(neurilemmoma), and neurofibroma. Schwannomas are usually solitary and grow in the nerve sheath, rendering them relatively easy to dissect free. In contrast, neurofibromas tend to be multiple, grow in the endoneural substance, which renders them difficult to dissect, may undergo malignant changes, and are the hallmark of von Recklinghausens neurofibromatosis. Masses in the anterior part of neck may be initially thought to be thyroid nodule and then other cervical masses should be considered. The diagnosis rests on clinical suspicion and diagnostic support may be obtained by CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) and substraction angiography in the literature. After imaging, fine needle aspiration for cytology may be helpful. If they are resected unrecognized and/or without regard to their nerve origin, major and permanent nerve defects can unnecessarily occur. We experienced 2 cases of peripheral nerve tumors of anterior neck simulating a thyroid nodule.
Key Words: Peripheral nerve tumor, Anterior neck, Thyroid nodule

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