CNS tumor

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 12 September 2017, last major update January 2006

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

PubMed Search: "Biopsy procedure" of CNS tumor

Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Pernick, N. Procedures. website. Accessed May 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Either primary biopsy to determine diagnosis; secondary biopsy to determine diagnosis or monitor therapy effect; or therapeutic resection
  • Primary biopsy: may be able to totally resect meningiomas, carcinomas, adenomas, schwannomas, pilocytic astrocytomas, ependymomas
  • Stereotactic needle biopsy: through small hole in skull; tissue may be nondiagnostic (necrotic, may have missed lesion); important for pathologist to indicate if lesional tissue is obtained; perform cytology by touching slide to gauze; report presence of large vessel to neurosurgeon
  • Secondary biopsy: repeat biopsies of lesion or its immediate vicinity; avoid by monitoring primary biopsy with intraoperative consultation
  • Posttherapy biopsy: must know nature of prior therapy
  • Therapeutic resection: if tumor was not previously completely excised; may be gross total resection (100% removal of known mass), radical subtotal (95 - 99% removal), subtotal (75 - 95% removal), partial (10 - 75% removal); compare to prior slides to determine treatment response (fibrosis, necrosis)