A rosette-forming glioneuronal tumor of the fourth ventricle: infratentorial form of dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor?

Am J Surg Pathol. 2002 May;26(5):582-91. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200205000-00004.


Eleven cases of a distinctive tumor of the posterior fossa are described. The patients (age range 12-59 years) presented with headache and/or ataxia. Neuroimaging revealed a relatively discrete, focally enhancing mass(es) primarily involving the aqueduct, fourth ventricle, and cerebellar vermis. Hydrocephalus was present in seven cases, and two lesions were multicentric. In two cases a significant increase in tumor size was documented. Gross total or subtotal resections were achieved in 10 cases. One patient underwent biopsy alone and another received postoperative irradiation. Histologically, two components were identified in all cases. One consisted of neurocytes forming neurocytic and/or perivascular pseudorosettes in a fibrillary, partly microcystic matrix. The second, astrocytic component resembled pilocytic astrocytoma in 10 cases and consisted of fibrillated spindle cells with oval nuclei associated with occasional Rosenthal fibers, granular bodies, glomeruloid capillaries, and microcalcifications. Regionally, this component was more diffuse and patternless, consisting of sheets of round to oval, oligodendrocyte-like cells. Rare ganglion cells were seen in four cases. The rosettes were consistently synaptophysin and MAP-2 immunoreactive, whereas the spindle cells were positive for S-100 protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein. Overall, atypia was minimal; no mitoses were found, and Ki67 labeling indices were low. Ultrastructurally, the neurocytic cells featured processes containing microtubules and occasional dense core granules. Mature synapses were found in one of the four cases studied. Although the histologic features of this unique tumor superficially resemble those of dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, rosette formation by neuronal cells, the frequent presence of a pilocytic astrocytoma component, and the growing nature of the lesion argue against that diagnosis, as does occasional multifocality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Cerebral Ventricle Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Cerebral Ventricle Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cerebral Ventricle Neoplasms / surgery
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Ganglioglioma / chemistry
  • Ganglioglioma / pathology*
  • Ganglioglioma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial / chemistry
  • Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial / surgery
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers, Tumor