Extra-axial desmoplastic/nodular medulloblastoma in adult mimicking cerebellar metastasis: reappraisal of this rare presentation with literature review

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2023 Dec 13;86(2):1124-1130. doi: 10.1097/MS9.0000000000001617. eCollection 2024 Feb.


Introduction and importance: Medulloblastomas are the most common malignant intra-axial brain tumour in paediatric patients and represent 35-40% of posterior fossa tumour types in children between 3 and 9 years of age. Medulloblastomas may also be found in adulthood. These tumours are classified into two groups according to its molecular characteristics and histological type. The desmoplastic/nodular subtype is the second common subtype after the classic one. Only three cases of desmoplastic/nodular extra-axial medelloblastoma have been previously reported in the literature originating from to the cerebellopontine angle.

Case presentation: The authors report a new case of an extra-axial desmoplastic/nodular cerebellar medulloblastoma originating outside the cerebellopontine angle and mimicking a solitary cerebellar metastasis in a 49-year-old female patient who presented for a raised intracranial pressure and cerebellar syndrome.

Clinical discussion: Medulloblastoma is a malignant embryonal intra-axial tumour of the cerebellum or posterior brain stem that occurs mainly in children. Medulloblastomas may also be found in adulthood. Desmoplastic/nodular medulloblastoma is the second most common type of all medulloblastomas. The intra-axial form is always predominant. Only three cases of extra-axial desmoplastic/nodular medulloblastoma have been reported in the literature. The authors will go through the literature to dissect this rare entity.

Conclusion: Although considered a common paediatric intra-axial tumour, there are increasing numbers of solitary cases reporting an extra-axial presentation in different locations of the posterior cerebral fossa even in adulthood. These rare and unusual presentations and locations may mislead the correct diagnosis and delay treatment.

Keywords: MRI; desmoplastic/nodular; extra-axial; medulloblastoma; surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports