Nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, nasopharynx
Other nonneoplastic lesions
Glial heterotopia

Topic Completed: 1 November 2004

Minor changes: 2 March 2020

Copyright: 2004-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Glial heterotopia nasal

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 2,115
Page views in 2020 to date: 1,404
Cite this page: Pernick N. Glial heterotopia. website. Accessed September 19th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Also called nasal glioma
  • Not a true neoplasm but a malformation that cause tumor-like conditions in newborns and older infants; considered a variant of encephalocele (encephalocele is associated with bony defects, glial heterotopia is not)
  • Usually present at birth or clinically evident within a few years of birth
  • 60% occur in nasal subcutaneous tissue, 30% in nasal cavity, 10% mixed
  • 20% have small fibrous or glial attachment to CNS
Case reports
  • Excision
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Mature astrocytes, gliosis and variable stromal fibrosis
  • Occasional multinucleated giant cells resembling neurons
  • Variable gemistocytic or mildly atypical astrocytes
  • Usually no neuronal cells
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Left: alternating dense collagenous tissue and disorganized
cells with ovoid / irregular nuclei and fibrillary stroma
Right: Masson trichrome stain emphasizes pattern
Inset: GFAP+

Positive stains
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Image 01 Image 02