Focal brainstem glioma

Focal brainstem gliomas are a relatively uncommon type of brainstem glioma, which carry a more favorable prognosis compared to the more common diffuse brainstem glioma. The name is a reflection of the imaging findings, which demonstrate a sharply demarcated mass with relatively frequent enhancement on MRI.

Pathology

The majority are low grade (60%) with most tumours being pilocytic astrocytomasGangliogliomas and oligodendrogliomas also occasionally found. Higher grade tumours (40%) are usually fibrillary astrocytoma or GBM

Histology

The histology of focal brainstem gliomas is variable, and may be both of low-grade (accounting for the much better prognosis) or high-grade.

Radiographic features

Distinguishing between high-grade and low-grade focal brainstem gliomas is clearly important but difficult, and biopsy potentially carries severe morbidity. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography can help by delineating relationship of tracts with respect to the mass. If tract invasion is demonstrated, this suggests a more infiltrating (thus higher grade and poorer prognosis) histology.

Astrocytic tumour
Share article

Article Information

rID: 6492
Section: Pathology
Tags: cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Focal brain stem gliomas
  • Focal brainstem gliomas

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and Figures

  • Drag
    Midbrain glioma T...
    Case 1: midbrain glioma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.