OBJECTIVE: A study of two cases of a rare variant of benign schwannoma showing areas mimicking neuroblastoma/peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET). METHODS: Sections of formalin fixed, paraffin embedded specimens were studied by tinctorial stains and immunohistochemistry, and the tissue retrieved from formalin was examined by electronmicroscopy in one case. RESULTS: The tumours were small and subcutaneous. Both showed features of benign schwannoma; one had a multinodular plexiform pattern. In addition, rosette-like structures consisting of collagenous cores surrounded by small round cells or slightly larger epithelioid cells were present. Tumour cells were positive for S100 protein, Leu7, and in one case GFAP, but were negative for neurofilament protein, synaptophysin, and MIC2. Type IV collagen surrounded individual cells. Electronmicroscopy in case 2 confirmed schwannian features (lamina, processes) and failed to show features of neuroblastoma (neuroendocrine granules). CONCLUSIONS: Benign schwannomas may contain rosette-like structures mimicking neuroblastoma/PNET. The techniques used confirmed schwannian differentiation only and eliminated neuroblastoma/PNET. These uncommon variants should be recognised by practising histopathologists to avoid erroneous diagnoses and inappropriate treatment.