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Neurosurgery. 2004 Aug;55(2):349-55; discussion 355-7.

Diagnosis and management of pineocytomas.

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Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona 85013, USA.



Pineocytomas are associated with the most favorable prognosis of all pineal tumors. However, a subset of pineocytomas may have a predilection for recurrence and therefore behave aggressively.


Records of nine patients (five men, four women; mean age, 44 yr; range, 24-63 yr) with histologically diagnosed pineocytomas consecutively treated between 1990 and 2003 were reviewed retrospectively to identify factors predictive of aggressiveness. Eight patients presented with hydrocephalus and four with tectal compression. Three patients underwent gross total resection, and six underwent subtotal resection or biopsy.


Three local recurrences necessitated reoperation. One recurrence involved the obex of the fourth ventricle. The mean time to recurrence was 3.5 years (range, 1-7 yr). There was no correlation between histological features and tumor recurrence. Patients undergoing radiosurgery showed stable or attenuated local disease (mean follow-up, 19.3 mo; range, 6-36 mo). Mean radiographic follow-up was 34 months (range, 6 mo to 10 yr). Mean clinical follow-up was 36 months (range, 1 mo to 10 yr).


A subset of pineocytomas demonstrates the potential for symptomatic recurrence. We advocate an attempt at gross total tumor resection for all symptomatic patients with tectal plate compression, reserving radiosurgery for small, subtotally resected, or recurrent lesions. Patients must be followed closely for recurrence. Radiosurgery seems to be beneficial for local tumor control. Further investigation is needed to identify histological markers for pineocytomas that behave aggressively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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