Astrocytic tumors

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 19 Oct 2021

Astrocytic tumors are primary central nervous system tumors that either arises from astrocytes or appear similar to astrocytes on histology having arisen from precursor cells. They are the most common tumors arising from glial cells and can be broadly divided into three groups: 

  1. diffuse, adult-type
  2. diffuse, pediatric type
  3. circumscribed

These can further be divided into individual entities (as described in the WHO classification of CNS tumor, 5th edition, 2021) many of which are molecularly defined 3

Additionally, some tumors also contain astrocytic components, and it is often this component that dictated biological behavior. Examples include:

Most of these tumors have strikingly differing demographics, imaging appearances, treatment and prognosis and thus they are, along with spinal astrocytomas discussed separately.  

Note: anaplastic astrocytomagliomatosis cerebrifibrillary astrocytoma and  protoplasmic astrocytoma are no longer recognized in the current WHO classification of CNS tumors

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1 : grade II recurrence
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  • Case 2 : protoplasmic astrocytoma : T2
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  • Case 3 : diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma
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  • Case 4 : gemistocytic astrocytomas
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  • Case 5 : low grade astrocytoma
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  • Case 6 : diffuse astrocytoma : T1 C+
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  • Case 7
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  • Case 9 : grade II
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  • Case 10 : grade II - temporal lobe
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  • Case 11: stationary thalamic glioma
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