Nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, nasopharynx

Other nonneoplastic lesions

Glial heterotopia

Last author update: 1 November 2004
Last staff update: 8 October 2020

Copyright: 2004-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Glial heterotopia nasal

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Glial heterotopia. website. Accessed March 26th, 2023.
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
Positive stains
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