CNS tumor
Oligodendroglial tumors
Anaplastic oligodendroglioma

Topic Completed: 1 May 2012

Revised: 2 January 2018, last major update May 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: "Anaplastic oligodendroglioma" CNS

Eman Abdelzaher, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2018: 4,093
Page views in 2019 to date: 3,330
Cite this page: Abdelzaher E. Anaplastic oligodendroglioma. website. Accessed October 21st, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Oligodendroglioma with increased mitotic activity, often associated with microvascular proliferation and necrosis
  • 3.5% of adult supratentorial malignant gliomas
  • Preferentially located in frontal lobe
  • Mean age of onset is 48 years
  • Mean survival is 4 years
  • Tumors with 1p- are particularly sensitive to chemotherapy
  • Also called malignant oligodendroglioma
  • WHO grade III
Radiology description
  • Shows enhancement
Radiology images

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MR imaging

Case reports
Gross description
  • May be areas of necrosis (as with grade II tumors)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Compared to grade II, have increased cellularity, nuclear atypia, mitotic activity, microvascular proliferation and necrosis
  • Gliofibrillary oligodendrocytes and minigemistocytes are frequent
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Classic and anaplastic oligodendroglioma

Anaplastic focus

Brisk mitotic rate

Florid microvascular proliferation

Bone marrow metastasis - figure 1: granular eosinophilic cytoplasm with eccentric nuclei and increased N/C ratio; 2: GFAP+; 3: primary tumor

Cytology description
  • Hypercellular, with loosely cohesive and single cells, moderate pleomorphism, vacuolated background, mitotic activity (Acta Cytol 2003;47:293)
Differential diagnosis
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