Yoshihiro Matsumoto, Makoto Endo, Katsumi Harimaya, Mitsumasa Hayashida, Toshio Doi, Yukihide Iwamoto

October 2015, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 2119 - 2125 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-014-3467-8

First Online: 12 July 2014


To investigate the clinical outcomes and imaging features of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) presenting as spinal dumbbell tumors.


We retrospectively reviewed the clinical outcomes and imaging features of consecutive cases of spinal dumbbell MPNSTs (n = 8) and schwannomas (n = 15).


A maximal diameter >5 cm was more frequently seen in MPNSTs (88 %) than in schwannomas (14 %). Irregularly lobulated margins occurred frequently in MPNSTs (75 %), but not in schwannomas (21 %). Indistinguishable boundaries were observed in 63 % of MPNSTs, but only 7 % of schwannomas. Osteolytic bone destruction was found exclusively in MPNSTs (50 % of MPNSTs vs. 0 % of schwannomas).


There is little clinical information relating to spinal dumbbell MPNSTs. We propose that the following imaging features are suggestive of spinal dumbbell MPNSTs: maximal diameter >5 cm, irregularly lobulated shape, boundary indistinguishable from surrounding tissues, and osteolytic bone destruction.

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