Although herniation of a lumbosacral intervertebral disk is a major cause of sciatic distribution pain, relentlessly progressive symptoms or signs should alert one to the possibility of a tumor involving the nerve.
To describe the clinical, neurophysiological, and histological features of a pathologically unique tumor involving the sciatic nerve.
Tertiary referral university hospital.
A 36-year-old woman was seen with a 6-year history of increasingly severe symptoms in the distribution of the left sciatic nerve.
Electromyography indicated a sciatic nerve lesion in the region of the greater sciatic notch. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a tumor involving the left sciatic nerve in this area. Light microscopy, electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry results confirmed the presence of an atypical ganglion cell tumor of the sciatic nerve that exhibited prognostically conflicting clinical and histological features.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of an atypical ganglion cell tumor affecting the sciatic nerve, and illustrates the value of detailed neurophysiological examination in localizing the site of peripheral nerve injury to facilitate focused neuroimaging when standard investigations are uninformative. Longer follow-up is required to determine the true biologic potential of this lesion.