Perineural tumor spread
Perineural tumor spread is a form of metastatic disease in which primary tumors cells spread along the tissues of the nerve sheath, being a well recognized phenomenon in head and neck cancers.
Perineural tumor spread is more frequently associated with 1,2:
- salivary gland carcinoma, especially adenoid cystic carcinoma
- mucosal/cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (~8% demonstrate perineural tumor spread) and basal cell carcinoma (~5% demonstrate perineural tumor spread) 4
Perineural tumor spread could be characterized as nerve thickening, widening of the neural foramen, loss of the fat surrounding the nerve and enhancement of the nerve after contrast administration.