CNS tumor
Germ cell tumors

Topic Completed: 1 January 2006

Revised: 2 January 2019, last major update January 2006

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

PubMed Search: Teratoma of the CNS [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 1,042
Page views in 2020 to date: 814
Cite this page: Pernick N. Teratoma. website. Accessed August 14th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Tissue derived from ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm (at least 2 of 3 germinal layers)
  • Usually well differentiated / grade I of IV
  • Incidence varies with age: 30 - 50% of congenital brain tumors, 2% of brain tumors in infants and children, 0.5% at all ages
  • Congenital cases are usually fatal; may replace cerebral hemispheres (Pediatr Pathol 1987;7:333)
  • Mature teratomas:
    • Have well differentiated tissue from all three germinal layers, including neuroectoderm, epithelium (solid, cystic, glandular or tubular), cartilage or other mesenchymal elements, glial and neuronal tissue
  • Immature teratomas:
    • Have less differentiated tissue from any of the three germinal layers
    • 50% with intracranial tumors die within one year
    • Pineal teratomas are more common in males but saccrococcygeal teratomas are more common in females
    • Must sample thoroughly for correct diagnosis
Poor prognostic factors
  • Tissue resembling medulloepithelioma, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma or ependymoblastoma
Case reports
  • Newborns - complete surgical excision (difficult)
Gross images

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Mass (thick arrows) and brain (thin arrows)

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