Anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma

Anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas are a more aggressive and less common version of pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA)

In the current (2016) WHO classification of CNS tumors, they are considered WHO grade III lesions (whereas pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas are WHO grade II tumors) 1

As clinical and imaging features are essentially the same as lower grade tumors, they are not repeated here but rather discussed as part of the article on pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma


Anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas are defined as a tumor consistent with a pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma but with an increased mitotic rate of >5 mitoses per 10 high-power fields 1. Otherwise, histologically they are very similar with lower grade tumors, however, necrosis and vascular proliferation are more common 1. They can be difficult to distinguish from epithelioid glioblastomas 1

Treatment and prognosis

Anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas have a substantially worse prognosis; 40-50% 5-year-survival compared to ~90% 5-year-survival for pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas 1

Astrocytic tumour

Article information

rID: 53443
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

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  • Case 2
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