Multiple glioblastomas: Are they different from their solitary counterparts?

Asian J Neurosurg. 2015 Oct-Dec;10(4):266-71. doi: 10.4103/1793-5482.162685.


Context: Multiple glioblastomas (GBMs) have a reported incidence of 2-20%.

Aims: We intend to study these subsets of GBMs to know whether these are similar to their solitary counterparts.

Setting and design: A retrospective study.

Materials and methods: We analyzed 7 cases of biopsy-proven multiple GBMs. Multiple GBMs were described if there were >1 lesion which was at least 1 cm apart. The clinical data, radiological features, histopathological and immunohistochemical analysis and follow-up were recorded.

Results: The mean age was 45 years (range 17-69 years). All cases presented with features of raised intracranial pressure (ICP). Totally, 3 cases presented with hemiparesis and 2 cases with altered sensorium and generalized tonic clonic seizures each. The median Karnofsky performance status (KPS) was 50. Mean duration of symptoms was 40 days. All lesions were contrast enhancing (2 with homogenous enhancement and 5 had ring enhancement). Total excision of the lesion causing mass effect was done in all cases. Histopathologically, small cells were significantly present in 4 cases, and satellitosis was seen in 5 cases. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was absent in all cases in which small cells were significant. In these 4 cases, the proliferation index ranged from 40% to 95%. Totally, 3 patients died within 2 months of surgery, whereas remaining 4 patients underwent chemo-radiotherapy.

Conclusions: We conclude that the cases usually present with features of raised ICP and poor KPS. Histopathologically these lesions show significant small cell population, satellitosis, and GFAP negativity.

Keywords: Multiple glioblastomas; prognosis; secondary structures.