Clinical and morphological features of an apparently unique, biologically aggressive central nervous system tumor in 32 infants and children are presented. This neoplasm is formed wholly or partly by rhabdoid cells, areas resembling typical primitive neuroectodermal tumor, and, less frequently, malignant mesenchymal and/or epithelial tissue. The tumor has been named atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATT/RhT) and is regarded as a unique class of primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors. It occurs most commonly in infants less than two years of age, has often metastasized throughout the CNS at presentation, dose not respond to therapy and causes death less than a year after diagnosis. These tumors may occur in any CNS site but almost 60% are located in the cerebellum. The most common chromosomal abnormality involves chromosome 22.