Cystic neuroblastoma: emphasis on gene expression, morphology, and pathogenesis

Pediatr Dev Pathol. Jan-Feb 1998;1(1):17-28. doi: 10.1007/s100249900003.


Cystic neuroblastoma (CN) is an unusual variant of neuroblastoma characterized by a grossly visible cyst(s) and almost always distinctive microcysts on light microscopy. Rarely, CN will appear solid grossly, but microcystification will be present. We examined the clinical, pathologic, and biologic features of 17 cases of CN. The majority of CN had been detected by prenatal ultrasound. The tumors were favorable stage, stroma-poor, but with low or intermediate mitotic-karyorhectic indices and had favorable biologic markers reflected by aneuploidy and by an absence of N-myc amplification and chromosome 1p deletions. However, the high trk expression typically identified in good risk tumors was absent. Although the complete natural history of CN is not fully defined, our experience suggests that some tumors progress in size, whereas others may spontaneously regress or mature. The clinical outcome is excellent, as is expected in localized and stage 4S neuroblastoma in infancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / genetics
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Aneuploidy
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 1 / genetics
  • Cysts / genetics
  • Cysts / pathology*
  • Diploidy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Mitotic Index / genetics
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology*