The WHO classification of CNS tumors divides pineal parenchymal tumors (PPT) into pineocytoma (PC), pineoblastoma (PB) and mixed pineocytoma-pineoblastoma or PPT with intermediate differentiation. The reported incidence of mixed/intermediate PPT varies and this may reflect the difficulty in classifying tumors of this type. In an attempt to overcome the problem of the classification of PPT with intermediate differentiation, we describe the relationship between histological features and patient survival in a large cooperative series of 66 PPT from 12 neurosurgical centres. All tumors were studied with both light microscopy and immunohistochemically using antibodies against glial markers or neural/neuroendocrine markers. Our series included 11 PC, 39 mixed/intermediate PPT and 16 PB. A number of mitoses greater than 6 and the presence of necrosis were associated with a poorer outcome, while positive immunostaining for neurofilaments was associated with a better survival. We propose a new prognostic grading of 4 grades, grade I for PC, grade II for PPT with fewer than 6 mitoses and positive immunolabelling for neurofilaments, grade III for PPT with either 6 or more than 6 mitoses or fewer than 6 mitoses but without immunostaining for neurofilaments and grade IV for PB.