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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Benign pericardial schwannoma in a Chinese woman: a case report

Xu-Hui Zhang1*, Yu Wang2, Xian-Yue Quan1 and Bo Liang1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510282, China

2 Department of Pathology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510282, China

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2013, 13:45  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-45

Published: 24 June 2013



Intrathoracic schwannomas are most frequently located in the posterior mediastinum. A Chinese woman presented with a benign pericardial schwannoma in the pretracheal space and aortopulmonary window, a location which has not been described previously in the literature.

Case presentation

A 50-year-old Chinese woman initially reported a cough associated with a small amount of sputum. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) subsequently revealed a 9 × 11 cm2 lobulated mass with sharp margins that presented as a capsule with heterogeneous enhancement and punctate calcification. Complete surgical resection was performed using a thoracotomy approach. The resected intrapericardial tumor was a firm, large mass with lobulation. Capsulation prevented infiltration of the mass into adjacent organs. Pathological examination verified that the tumor was a benign pericardial schwannoma.


This is the first reported case of a benign pericardial schwannoma located in the pretracheal space and aortopulmonary window. While a contrast-enhanced CT scan was able to differentiate this pericardial schwannoma from other middle mediastinal tumors, the exact diagnosis and plan for treatment depended on a pathological examination. For similar cases involving pericardial schwannomas, complete surgical resection is recommended, particularly for the prevention of life-threatening cardiopulmonary complications.

Pericardium; Benign schwannoma; Computed tomography