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Neurosurgery. 1991 Aug;29(2):206-10.

Ependymoma: internal correlations among pathological signs: the anaplastic variant.

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Second Department of Neurology University of Turin, Italy.


In a series of 298 cases of ependymoma, survival analysis identified some prognostic histological factors but failed to demonstrate a worse survival for the anaplastic variant diagnosed with the common criteria used for assessing anaplasia in primitive brain tumors. This finding suggests that either anaplastic ependymoma does not exist, or that the established criteria are not useful in its identification. To solve these problems, the association of histological, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural signs in 173 intracranial cases was investigated and analyzed by means of contingency tables. Many signs had only focal distribution. Some signs, meaningful for anaplasia, such as very high cell density and number of mitoses, were found to be associated, whereas other signs usually considered indicative of anaplasia, such as endothelial hyperplasia, glomeruli, and necrosers, were not. In addition, pseudorosettes, mesodermic areas, and incomplete formation of perivascular pseudorosettes were signs associated with very high cell density and number of mitoses. Distribution of glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin, as well as other immunohistochemical and ultrastructural features, were not helpful, with the exception of microsettes found by electron microscopy. Our conclusion is that the anaplastic variant of ependymoma is recognizable only when some histological prognostic factors, such as cell density and number of mitoses, are maximally expressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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