Neurofibromatosis was first described in the nineteenth century. At the time, Friederich Daniel Von Recklinghausen detailed two cases of multiple neurofibromas. Although reports of similar cases had been published before his, Von Recklinghausen is credited with the initial description in 1882, postulating that the tumors originated from nerve sheath and plexal connective tissue. Similarly, in 1822 John Henry Wishart described what is believed to be neurofibromatosis type 2; however, it was Harvey Cushing’s description of a case of bilateral vestibular schwannomas in 1916 that highlighted and increased awareness of the disease (albeit the original presentation was thought to be in the context of neurofibromatosis type 1). Since their original description, understanding of these neurocutaneous diseases has greatly expanded. Knowledge of the genotypic mutations and molecular mechanisms underlying the disease pathophysiology has resulted in natural history enlightenment and optimal treatment refinement. However, many aspects of neurofibromatosis have yet to be explained and remain active areas of investigation. In this chapter, clinical, radiological, and surgical considerations for peripheral nerve tumor management in the context of neurocutaneous disorders are reviewed. More specifically, clinical presentations, pathological and imaging findings, as well as management for neurofibromatosis type 1, type 2, and schwannomatosis are comprehensively discussed.
Part of the book: Neurofibromatosis