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Clin Neuropathol. 2010 Sep-Oct;29(5):307-16.

Necrotic rhabdoid meningiomas with aggressive clinical behavior.

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  • 1Department of Experimental and Clinical Neuropathology, M. Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. matyja@cmdik.pan.pl


Rhabdoid meningioma (RM) is a rare, aggressive variant of meningioma classified as a WHO Grade III malignancy. RM exhibits a striking histological resemblance to other rhabdoid tumors and strong tendency towards local recurrences, CSF dissemination, and/or remote metastasis. The majority of reported cases are of secondary rhabdoid transformation in recurrent meningiomas. We present two unusual cases of rhabdoid meningiomas diagnosed as a primary intracranial lesion in adults that were associated with extensive necrosis and an aggressive clinical course. On histological examination, the majority of the tumor mass was composed of necrotic tissue with focal clusters of neoplastic cells, often localized around blood vessels. Most tumor cells exhibited typical rhabdoid morphology with large, vesicular, often eccentrically located nuclei with distinct nucleoli and abundant cytoplasm containing eosinophilic hyaline inclusions. Classical meningothelial features with focal whorl formation were scarce and seen only in one case; in the second case the tumor was entirely rhabdoid. The differential diagnosis with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs) and other neoplasms, particularly metastatic carcinoma, was considered. Immunohistochemical and electron microscopic study were critical for the accurate diagnosis of the rhabdoid subtype of meningiomas. Rhabdoid cells stained diffusely positive for vimentin and S-100 protein and showed focal but strong expression of epithelial membrane antigen and cytokeratins. The rhabdoid areas of the tumors exhibited high mitotic activity with a MIB-1 labeling index of 80 - 90%. The diagnosis of rhabdoid meningioma was supported by evidence of SNF5 (INI1) protein expression. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated the presence of interdigitating cell processes joined by numerous desmosomes and paranuclear whorls of intermediate filaments typical of the rhabdoid phenotype. Our two cases of rhabdoid meningiomas were associated with lethal outcome within a few months of initial diagnosis. Extensive necrosis in rhabdoid meningioma might be considered an additional predictor of aggressive clinical behavior.

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