Glioneuronal tumors of the central nervous system.
Advances in the immunohistochemical detection of neuron-specific and neuronal-associated antigens have resulted in the discovery of neuronal elements in certain primary human brain tumors. The results have been not only to expand what neuropathologists commonly recognize as gangliogliomas, including the tumors now known as glioneurocytic tumor with neuropil rosettes and papillary ganglioneuroma, but also to expand the spectrum of tumor types to now include tumors such as central neurocytoma, dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, and desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma. These discoveries have helped us to better understand the biology of these tumors and to refine our classification of them. Distinctions among these tumors include sites of predilection, such as the temporal lobe with the dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors, and a spectrum of clinical aggressiveness that spans indolent "quasi-hamartomatous" lesions, such as the dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, to high-grade, highly aggressive tumors, such as the supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (World Health Organization Grade IV). Many of these tumors also commonly exhibit a glial component, as determined by both their histologic appearance and their immunoreactivity for glial fibrillary acidic protein. This review covers these recently described lesions, including the desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma, the dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, the papillary glioneuronal tumor, the glioneuronal tumor with neuropil rosettes, and the mixed glioblastoma-cerebral neuroblastoma (supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor), as well as the known tumors, ganglioglioma, medulloepithelioma, and medulloblastoma. For pathologists confronted by this growing array of tumors and subtypes, it is appropriate to focus on them and understand the differential diagnosis to be considered when confronted by them.
McLendon, RE; Provenzale, J
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