The relationship between the capillary structure and hemorrhage in gliomas

J Neurosurg. 1987 Apr;66(4):536-41. doi: 10.3171/jns.1987.66.4.0536.


A 48-year-old man was admitted with the sudden onset of symptoms of stroke caused by hemorrhage in an oligodendroglioma. Despite surgery and antiedema treatment, the patient died. Histological evaluation revealed an oligodendroglioma with calcified capillaries of the retiform type. To further investigate this phenomenon, a total of 160 gliomas were reviewed: 90 glioblastomas multiforme, 30 oligodendrogliomas, and 40 astrocytomas. Sufficient data were available for clinical evaluation in 100 cases. Of these, 5% (two oligodendrogliomas and three glioblastomas multiforme) were related to clinically significant hemorrhages. Of the remaining cases, microhemorrhages were found in 53.0% of the glioblastomas, in 56.7% of the oligodendrogliomas, and in 10.0% of the astrocytomas. In each case reviewed, the capillaries were assigned to one of three groups: axial, retiform, or glomeruloid. Statistical analysis revealed a significant association between hemorrhages and retiform capillaries in all three types of tumors, except that in oligodendrogliomas the statistical significance held true when calcification of the capillaries was also present. Glomeruloid-type capillaries were only weakly associated with hemorrhages, and no association was found for axial capillaries. A large-scale prospective study is necessary to more precisely assess the role of each of the three types of capillaries in hemorrhages of gliomas. Based on data available so far, patients with glial tumors with retiform capillaries, confirmed on biopsy, should be carefully monitored to exclude possible intratumoral hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma / blood supply*
  • Astrocytoma / complications
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Glioblastoma / blood supply*
  • Glioblastoma / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligodendroglioma / blood supply*
  • Oligodendroglioma / complications