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Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2012 Aug;38(5):411-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2990.2011.01225.x.

Diffuse form of dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour: the histological and immunohistochemical features of a distinct entity showing transition to dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour and ganglioglioma.

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Department of Clinical Neuropathology Neurosurgery, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.



A diffuse variant of dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour (dDNT) has previously been described, which although composed of oligodendroglia-like cells (OLC), astrocytes and mature neurones, lacks the multinodularity and 'specific component' of typical DNT. The dDNT poses a significant challenge to the neuropathologist. This study was undertaken to further characterize the histological and immunohistochemical features of dDNT.


Review of our archived material from epilepsy surgery identified 16 cases, in which features of dDNT predominated. Their histological and immunohistochemical features, including CD34 and nestin immunohistochemistry, were analysed.


Seven cases had the characteristics of pure dDNT. A further two cases of dDNT showed extension into the white matter with occasional dysplastic neurones. Two additional cases had similar features but with the presence of either single, or multiple small nodular clusters of OLC, in keeping with transition to classical DNT. Five cases showed ganglioglioma-like areas, of which three cases had micronodule formation but with predominant dDNT pattern. In all the cases the dDNT areas showed strong CD34 and less intense nestin immunoreactivity and microglial activation highlighting the full extent of the lesions. There was variable overlap between CD34 and nestin positivity within the micronodular and/or ganglioglioma-like areas.


Immunoreactivity for CD34 and nestin characterizes the dDNT and helps to distinguish it from other lesions associated with epilepsy. Histological evidence indicative of transition of dDNT to other forms of DNT and ganglioglioma suggests that dDNT might be an early histogenetic form of these glioneuronal tumours.

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