Nasal cerebral heterotopia: the so-called nasal glioma or sequestered encephalocele and its variants

G P Yeoh, P M Bale, M de Silva
Pediatric Pathology 1989, 9 (5): 531-49
Twenty two nasal cerebral heterotopias were compared with 11 nasal encephaloceles. No histological feature was found that would allow a communication with the brain to be confidently identified or excluded. Even laminated cerebral cortex with neurones and ependymal canals, suggestive of encephalocele, were found in heterotopias. Distinction required radiological and surgical evidence. However, CT scan could be misleading, in one infant suggesting a cribriform plate defect when none was found at craniotomy. Three children had multiple extracranial glial lesions, two with both heterotopia and encephalocele in the same patient. In a few older children it was extremely difficult to identify brain tissue because of marked replacement by fibrous tissue (up to 95%), leading to one misdiagnosis as fibroma, and considerable fibrosis occurred also in five of six recurrences and in a longstanding small encephalocele. In two heterotopias, cellularity in places approached that of low-grade neoplastic glioma. One nasopharyngeal heterotopia contained multiple mesenchymal tissues suggestive of teratoma. Two midline nasopharyngeal encephaloceles showed adjacent epithelium, possibly vestiges of Rathke's pouch.

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