Intratumoral histologic heterogeneity of gliomas. A quantitative study

Cancer. 1989 Jul 15;64(2):442-7. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19890715)64:2<442::aid-cncr2820640217>;2-s.


Quantitative data for intratumoral histologic heterogeneity were obtained by investigating ten small and ten large punched samples from 50 unembedded supratentorial gliomas. The 1000 samples were diagnosed according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification and six histopathologic features associated with malignancy were evaluated (cellular density, nuclear pleomorphism, necroses, histologic architecture, vessels, and mitoses), each with defined gradations. The slides were read independently by two observers. The initially high interobserver variability (grade, 22.2%; type, 10.3%; and tumor presence/absence, 7.1%) was for the most part due to intermediate grades and types and was reduced to 1.7% after mutual review. Small samples showed lower mean grade than large samples and more often absence of tumor (7.6% versus 2.4%). Of all gliomas, 48% showed differently typed samples, 82% differently graded samples, and 62% benign and malignant grades. Intratumoral heterogeneity was higher for the necroses than for the other histopathologic features. Our results underscore the importance of extensive tissue sampling.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis