Clinico-pathological features of pilomyxoid astrocytoma of the optic pathway

Acta Neuropathol. 2004 Aug;108(2):109-14. doi: 10.1007/s00401-004-0858-7. Epub 2004 May 27.


Five cases of pilomyxoid astrocytoma (PmA) characterized by a monophasic pattern with a myxoid background were selected for a clinicopathological study from 23 cases previously diagnosed as pilocytic astrocytoma (PA). All PmA patients were either infants or young children (mean age 2.1 years), and all tumors were located in the optic chiasm/hypothalamus region. All cases received chemotherapy, which reduced tumor size, and the location of the tumor became confined to the optic chiasm. In two cases, tumor recurrence occurred 3 and 7 years after chemotherapy. Histology of the recurrent tumors showed the biphasic pattern of classical PA. Hence, we conclude that PmA might be an infantile form of PA and speculate that a subset of PmA in the optic pathway/hypothalamus originates from the optic chiasm, possibly derived from radial glia existing in the embryonic optic chiasm.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma / pathology*
  • Astrocytoma / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Hypothalamic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Optic Chiasm / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve Neoplasms / therapy
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Time Factors