Pilomyxoid astrocytoma: expanding the imaging spectrum

L L Linscott, A G Osborn, S Blaser, M Castillo, R H Hewlett, N Wieselthaler, S S Chin, J Krakenes, G L Hedlund, C L Sutton
AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology 2008, 29 (10): 1861-6

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Pilomyxoid astrocytoma (PMA) is a recently described variant of pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) with unique clinical and histopathologic characteristics. Because the histopathology of PMA is distinct from that of PA, we hypothesized that PMAs would display distinctive imaging characteristics. We retrospectively reviewed the imaging findings in a large number of patients with PMA to identify these characteristics.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: CT and MR images, pathology reports, and clinical information from 21 patients with pathology-confirmed PMA from 7 institutions were retrospectively reviewed. CT and MR imaging findings, including location, size, signal intensity, hemorrhage, and enhancement pattern, were tabulated.

RESULTS: Patients ranged in age from 9 months to 46 years at initial diagnosis. Sex ratio was 12:9 (M/F). Twelve of 21 (57%) tumors were located in the hypothalamic/chiasmatic/third ventricular region. Nine (43%) occurred in other locations, including the parietal lobe (2/21), temporal lobe (2/21), cerebellum (2/21), basal ganglia (2/21), and fourth ventricle (1/21). Ten (48%) tumors showed heterogeneous rim enhancement, 9 (43%) showed uniform enhancement, and 2 (9%) showed no enhancement. Five (24%) masses demonstrated intratumoral hemorrhage.

CONCLUSION: This series expands the clinical and imaging spectrum of PMA and identifies characteristics that should suggest consideration of this uncommon diagnosis. One third of patients were older children and adults. Almost half of all tumors were located outside the typical hypothalamic/chiasmatic region. Intratumoral hemorrhage occurred in one quarter of patients. PMA remains a histologic diagnosis without definitive imaging findings that distinguish it from PA.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.