CNS & pituitary tumors

Pineal tumors


Last author update: 1 January 2006
Last staff update: 5 April 2024 (update in progress)

Copyright: 2002-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Pineoblastoma [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2023: 5,147
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Pineoblastoma. website. Accessed June 16th, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Grade 4 of 4
  • Second most common pineal gland tumor after germ cell tumor
  • Usually age 20 years or less
  • Frequent CNS metastases or spinal seeding, which is the main cause of death
  • 5 year survival is 58%
  • Poor prognostic factors:
    • 7+ mitotic figures/10 HPF
    • Presence of necrosis
    • No neurofilament staining
Case reports
  • Surgery, variable radiation therapy
  • Prognosis is usually poor
Gross description
  • Located in pineal gland
  • May appear well demarcated from surrounding brain tissue but usually infiltrates into surrounding structures
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Sheets of densely packed cells with high grade (anaplastic / undifferentiated) features including high N/C ratio with minimal cytoplasm and large hyperchromatic nuclei
  • Also necrosis, frequent mitotic figures
  • Focal nuclear molding
  • Homer Wright or Flexner-Wintersteiner rosettes
  • May have lower grade features of pineocytoma and pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation
  • Often infiltrates into surrounding structures
Cytology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Small blue cell neuroepithelial malignant tumor

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Occasional cytoplasmic dense core granules
  • Short immature cell processes
  • Occasional junctional complexes
  • No definite synapses
Electron microscopy images

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image

Presence of abundant filopodia and rare intercellular junctions but no definitive synapses

Differential diagnosis
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