Immunohistochemical Distinguishing between Canine Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors and Perivascular Wall Tumors

Open access


Peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) comprise a heterogeneous group of neoplasms originating from the elements of the nerve sheath. They are divided into two forms: benign and malignant PNST. Both benign and malignant PNSTs are not very common in domestic animals but they are reported in different animal species. Histologically, PNSTs are composed predominantly of spindle cells arranged in bundles, whorls and sheets, with a different number of pleomorphic cells and mitotic figures.

The aim of this study was a reclassification of 17 dog tumor samples initially diagnosed with peripheral nerve sheath tumors using histopathological analysis. The main criterion for reclassification was immunohistochemical positivity for various antigens.

PNSTs are often histologically very similar to other spindle cell tumors and immunohistochemistry is required for differential diagnosis. PNSTs generally express vimentin, S-100 protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), collagen IV and laminin.

Four tumor samples were positive to muscular marker α-SMA and vimentin and negative for S-100 protein and desmin. The spindle cells whirling around some blood vessels were observed in these tumors so they were reclassified as perivascular wall tumors (PWTs). The other 13 tumors were S-100 protein and vimentin positive and α-SMA and desmin negative, thus classified as PNST.

The use of the immunohistochemical panel is necessary for distinguishing PNSTs from PWTs in routine diagnostics.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Suzuki S Uchida K Nakayama H: The effects of tumor location on diagnostic criteria for canine malignant nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) and the markers for distinction between canine MPNSTs and canine perivascular wall tumors. Vet Pathol 2014 51:722-736.

  • 2. Hendrick MJ: Tumors of the nervous system. In: Meuten DJ ed. Tumors in Domestic Animals. 5th ed. Ames IA: Wiley Blackwell; 2017: 155-157.

  • 3. Chijiwa K Uchida K Tateyama S: Immunohistochemical evaluation of canine peripheral nerve sheath tumors and other soft tissue sarcomas. Vet Pathol 2004 41(4):307-318.

  • 4. Ramires GA Herraez P Rodrigues F Godhino A Andrada M Espinosa de los Monteros A: Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (malignant Schwannoma) in the diaphragm of a goat. J Comp Pathol 2007 137:137-141.

  • 5. Schulman FY Johnson TO Facemire PR: Feline peripheral nerve sheath tumors: histologic immunohistochemical and clinicopathologic correlation (59 tumors in 53 cats). Vet Pathol 2009 46(6):1166-1180.

  • 6. Kegler K Mundle K Walliser U Wohsein P: Primary intraparotid peripheral nerve sheath tumour with characteristics of benign Schwannoma in a horse. J Comp Pathol 2014 150:382-387.

  • 7. Resende TP Pereira CER Vannucci FA Araujo FS Santos JL Cassali GD Damasceno KA Guedes RM: Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in a sow. Acta Vet Scandinavica 2015 57:56-59.

  • 8. Ahmadi N Oryan A Ghane M Daneshbod Y: Cutaneous schwannoma in a cow. Braz J Vet Pathol 2012 5:81-85.

  • 9. Boos GS Bassuino DM Wurster F Castro NB Watanabe TN Silva GS Sonne L and Driemeier D: Retrospective canine skin peripheral nerve sheath tumors data with emphasis on histologic immunohistochemical and prognostic factors. Pesq Vet Bras 2015 35(12):965-974.

  • 10. LeCouteur RAWithrow SJ: Tumors of the nervous system. In: Small Animal Clinical Oncology 4th Edit. SJ Withrow EG MacEwen Eds. Saunders St Louis 2007: pp. 659-685.

  • 11. Koestner A Higgins RJ: Tumors of the nervous system. In: Tumors in Domestic Animals 4th Edit. DJ Meuten Ed. Iowa State Press Ames 2002: 697-738.

  • 12. Koestner A Bilzer T Fatzer R Schulman FY Summers BA Van Winkle TJ: Histological classification of tumors of the nervous system of domestic animals. Schulman FY editor. WHO Armed Forces Institute of Pathology American Registry of Pathology; Washington D.C 1999: 37-38.

  • 13. Gross TL Ihrke PJ Walder EJ Affolter VK: Neural and Perineural Tumors. In: Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat. Oxford United Kingdom: Blackwell Science Ltd 2005: 786-796.

  • 14. Silva EO Goiozo PFI Pereira LG Headley SA and Bracarense AFRL: Concomitant malignant pulmonary peripheral nerve sheath tumour and benign cutaneous peripheral nerve sheath tumour in a dog. J Comp Path 2017 157:46-50.

  • 15. Sirri R Sabattini S Bettini G Mandrioli L: Reclassification of 21 presumptive canine peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNST) using a literature-based immunohistochemical panel. Acta Vet-Beograd 2016 66(4):455-465.

  • 16. Pumarola M Anor S Borras D Ferrer I: Malignant epithelioid schwannoma affecting the trigeminal nerve of a dog. Vet Pathol 1996 33:434-436.

  • 17. Avallone G Boracchi P Caniatti M Stefanello D Ferrari R Rebughini A Roccabianca P: Canine Perivascular Wall Tumors: High Prognostic Impact of Site Depth and Completeness of Margins. Veterinary Pathology 2014 51(4):713-721.

  • 18. Ko SB Song KO Kang SC Kim JH: Cutaneous peripheral nerve sheath tumors in 15 dogs. Korean J Vet Res 2014 54:7-12.

  • 19. Gaitero L Añor S Fondevila D Pumarola M: Canine cutaneous spindle cell tumours with features of peripheral nerve sheath tumours: a histopathological and immunohistochemical study. J Comp Pathol 2008 139(1):16-23.

  • 20. Teixeira S Amorim I Rêma A Faria F Gärtner F: Molecular heterogeneity of canine cutaneous peripheral nerve sheath tumors: a drawback in the diagnosis refinement. In vivo 2016 30:819-828.

  • 21. Rodriguez FJ Folpe AL Giannini C Perry A: Pathology of peripheral nerve sheath tumors: diagnostic overview and update on selected diagnostic problems. Acta Neuropathol 2012 123:295-319.

  • 22. Takeuchi A Ushigome S: Diverse differentiation in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours associated with neurofibromatosis-1: an immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study. Histopathol 2001 39:298-309.

  • 23. Satoh H Shimoda H Daa T Kashima K Yokoyama S Nakayama I: Establishment and immunohistochemical characterization of an experimentally induced transplantable malignant schwannoma in the rat and two derived cell lines. Acta Pathol Jpn 1993 43:537-44.

  • 24. Avallone G Helmbold P Caniatti M Stefanello D Navak RC Roccabianca P: The spectrum of canine cutaneous perivascular wall tumors: morphologic phenotypic and clinical characterization. Vet Pathol 2007 44:607-620.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.656
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.532

CiteScore 2018: 0.71

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.281
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.547

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 61 61 6
PDF Downloads 54 54 4