Adult H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline glioma with gliomatosis cerebri growth pattern: Case report and review of the literature

Anudeep Yekula, Mihir Gupta, Nicholas Coley, Hoi Sang U
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports 2020 February 28, 68: 124-128

INTRODUCTION: H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline glioma is a recently classified unique entity predominantly affecting pediatric patients and rarely adults. The clinicopathologic features in adults remain poorly characterized.

PRESENTATION OF CASE: A 36-year-old man presented with subacute progressive cognitive and visual deterioration, and hydrocephalus requiring ventricular shunting. MRI revealed a diffusely infiltrating lesion with a gliomatosis cerebri growth pattern, multiple foci of contrast enhancement, and diffuse leptomeningeal involvement. Suboccipital craniotomy with exploration of the posterior fossa revealed a subtle capsular lesion infiltrating into the choroid plexus. Although histologically low-grade, the tumor was found to have an H3K27 M mutation establishing the diagnosis.

DISCUSSION: In spite of diverse clinicopathologic characteristics, H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline gliomas are incurable, WHO grade IV lesions with poor prognosis. We discuss our case in the context of a review of published reports of H3K27-mutant diffuse midline gliomas in adults. Findings late in the disease course may mimic inflammatory or infectious pathologies radiographically, and low-grade infiltrative neoplasms histologically.

CONCLUSION: The diverse clinical, radiographic and molecular features of H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline gliomas in adults remain to be completely characterized. A high index of suspicion is required to avoid missing the diagnosis. Early biopsy and detailed molecular characterization are critical for accurate diagnosis and patient counseling.

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