Anaplastic ganglioglioma-A diagnosis comprising several distinct tumour types

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2022 Dec;48(7):e12847. doi: 10.1111/nan.12847. Epub 2022 Sep 16.


Aims: Anaplastic ganglioglioma is a rare tumour, and diagnosis has been based on histological criteria. The 5th edition of the World Health Organization Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System (CNS WHO) does not list anaplastic ganglioglioma as a distinct diagnosis due to lack of molecular data in previous publications. We retrospectively compiled a cohort of 54 histologically diagnosed anaplastic gangliogliomas to explore whether the molecular profiles of these tumours represent a separate type or resolve into other entities.

Methods: Samples were subjected to histological review, desoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation profiling and next-generation sequencing. Morphological and molecular data were summarised to an integrated diagnosis.

Results: The majority of tumours designated as anaplastic gangliogliomas resolved into other CNS WHO diagnoses, most commonly pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (16/54), glioblastoma, isocitrate dehydrogenase protein (IDH) wild type and diffuse paediatric-type high-grade glioma, H3 wild type and IDH wild type (11 and 2/54), followed by low-grade glial or glioneuronal tumours including pilocytic astrocytoma, dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour and diffuse leptomeningeal glioneuronal tumour (5/54), IDH mutant astrocytoma (4/54) and others (6/54). A subset of tumours (10/54) was not assignable to a CNS WHO diagnosis, and common molecular profiles pointing to a separate entity were not evident.

Conclusions: In summary, we show that tumours histologically diagnosed as anaplastic ganglioglioma comprise a wide spectrum of CNS WHO tumour types with different prognostic and therapeutic implications. We therefore suggest assigning this designation with caution and recommend comprehensive molecular workup.

Keywords: DNA methylation analysis; anaplastic ganglioglioma; ganglioglioma; methylation class; molecular glioma entities; molecular neuropathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma* / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Child
  • Ganglioglioma* / pathology
  • Glioma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase