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Mod Pathol. 1998 Apr;11(4):398-403.

Supratentorial giant cell ependymoma: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas 75235-9072, USA.


Ependymomas are neoplasms of the central nervous system that are capable of demonstrating remarkably heterogeneous histologic features. These tumors originate from ependymal cells lining the ventricles, the choroid plexus, the central canal of the spinal cord, and the filum terminale, so they are therefore seen throughout the neuraxis. We describe the case of a 26-year-old man who experienced a 3-week history of right-sided numbness and a 1-week history of worsening bifrontal headache. Computed tomographic scanning and magnetic resonance imaging of his head demonstrated an irregularly enhancing mass involving the left medial frontal lobe, with extension across the corpus callosum and expansion into the body and atrium of the left lateral ventricle. Histologic, immunohistochemical, and electron microscopic findings were consistent with an anaplastic ependymoma. Unique to this neoplasm was the presence of multiple tumor giant cells. The presence of pleomorphic tumor giant cells is a characteristic feature of the subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, and it is also commonly seen in pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme. Bizarre giant cells were recently described in two filum terminale ependymomas. This report presents the first case of a supratentorial giant cell ependymoma with anaplastic features.

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