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Soft Tissue Pathology 

Normal Anatomy of the Peripheral Nerve    

Dr Sampurna Roy MD





The peripheral nervous system is the nervous tissue outside the brain and spinal cord and include somatic and autonomic nerve, end organ receptors and supporting structures.


The major peripheral nerve trunks form by fusion and division of segmental spinal nerves and often contains a mixture of sensory, motor and autonomic elements.

During the formation of peripheral nerve, the Schwann cells  migrate peripherally from the spinal ganglia, orient themselves parallel to the axons and encase them. 

In myelinated nerves, one axon segment is encased by one Schwann cell.
In nonmyelinated nerves, several axon segments are encased by a common Schwann cell.

In a fully developed nerve a layer of connective tissue or Epineurium surrounds the entire nerve trunk. Each peripheral nerve trunk is composed of one or more  bundles or fascicles of nerve fibres.

Each nerve fascicle is surrounded by a well defined sheath known as Perineurium.
Within the fascicles individual nerve fiber with its investing Schwann cell is surrounded by  Endoneurium.           

Special stains used to identify the different components:

Perineurium- EMA positive

Schwann cells- S100 positive

Axons- Neurofilament positive. Silver stains selectively stain the axon.

Myelin- Luxol fast blue stain



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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