Pinealomas: Need for an Ultrastructural Diagnosis
The pineal region is a highly privileged area of the brain. It includes many cell types of glial or non-glial origin. The pineal body itself contains a wide range of cells, pinealocytes, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependy- mocytes, ganglion cells and even Schwann cells from the conary nerve. Moreover, the high frequency of germinomas, suggests that germ cells are another possible cell type of the human pineal body. This explains why a variety of tumors can develop in this region. The most accurate means of diagnosis, in this area, remains the stereotactic biopsy but the main disadvantage of this method is the small size of the biopsied specimen. It is the reason why electron microscopy appears, even more than immunohistochemistry, to be a useful tool for diagnosis in the frequent cases of small round cell tumor. Pinealomas offer a typical example of such a diagnostic process.
KeywordsEurope Germinal Medulloblastoma Seminoma Choriocarcinoma
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