Intracranial germinoma: clinical and MRI findings in 56 patients

Childs Nerv Syst. 2010 Dec;26(12):1773-7. doi: 10.1007/s00381-010-1247-2. Epub 2010 Jul 28.


Introduction: Intracranial germinoma is a rare malignant tumor, only constituting 0.5-2.0% of all primary intracranial tumors. It usually occurs in children and young adults, it is highly sensitive to radiotherapy or/and chemotherapy, and is potentially curable without operation. To make correct pre-operative diagnosis and spare surgical intervention, we retrospectively reviewed 56 patients in our hospital, and presented clinical findings and MRI characteristics.

Materials and methods: We reviewed medical records and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 56 patients. Information regarding sex, age at diagnosis, clinical presentation, duration of symptom, and associated neurologic deficits was noted. The tumor location, number of metastasis, size, margin, involved tissues, and characteristics of signal intensity on MRI were analyzed by two experienced radiologists, respectively.

Results: In the series, 57% of intracranial germinoma was located in pineal region, 32% in suprasellar region, and 9% in basal ganglia region. One patient was found germinoma with synchronous lesions in pineal and suprasellar region. Sixty-three percent of patients were male in pineal region, 39% and 100%, respectively, in suprasellar region and basal ganglia region. Age at diagnosis ranged from 3 to 21 years (mean, 12.5 years) with a peak between 10 and 18 years.

Conclusions: Intracranial germinoma has some features in terms of age, sex, clinical presentation, and MRI. These features are in favor of pre-operative diagnosis and thus make for good prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Germinoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult