Neurocytoma: a comprehensive review

Neurosurg Rev. 2006 Oct;29(4):270-85; discussion 285. doi: 10.1007/s10143-006-0030-z. Epub 2006 Aug 29.


Central neurocytomas (CN) are uncommon tumors of the central nervous system, most descriptions of which available in the literature are in the form of isolated case reports and small series. Owing to this rare incidence, diagnosis and management of this neoplasm remain controversial. Usually, these tumors affect lateral ventricles of young adults and display characteristic neuroimaging and histomorphologic findings. Neurocytomas often mimic oligodendrogliomas when confirmation of diagnosis rests on immunohistochemistry, ultrastructure, and genetic studies. Extraventricular neurocytomas, situated entirely within the brain parenchyma and spinal cord, have also been reported. Typically, CN are associated with a favorable outcome although cases with more aggressive clinical course with recurrences are not unknown. MIB-1 labeling index (LI) of >2% often heralds poor prognosis and tumour recurrence. Safe maximal resection is presently considered the ideal therapeutic option, with best long-term prognosis in terms of local control and survival. The role of adjuvant radiotherapy apparently seems to benefit patients with incomplete resection and in atypical neurocytoma. Utility of other therapeutic regimen, however, remains shrouded in controversy. Epidemiology, histogenesis, clinical profile, histology, neuroimaging and therapeutic modalities of neurocytomas have been comprehensively reviewed, with special emphasis on CN and extraventricular neurocytomas and their atypical counterparts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Neurocytoma / epidemiology
  • Neurocytoma / genetics
  • Neurocytoma / pathology
  • Neurocytoma / surgery*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures*
  • Prognosis
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome