Pineal yolk sac tumor

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 13 Jun 2022

Pineal yolk sac tumors are rare type of extragonadal yolk sac tumors. They make up a small fraction of all intracranial germ cell tumors and an even small fraction of pineal masses overall. 

CSF biochemistry may demonstrate elevated levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) which is helpful but not diagnostic of yolk sac tumors, as both immature teratomas and embryonal cell carcinomas may also elevate AFP levels 1.

As with other germ cell tumors, there may be an association with Down syndrome 1-3.

In up to 50% of cases these tumors co-exist with other germ cell tumor histology 4.

No specific imaging findings have been identified, with their appearance being similar to other germ cell tumors of the pineal region 4.

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