Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma Metastasized to Extraneural Sites

  • Metka Volavšek
  • Mara Popović
Part of the Tumors of the Central Nervous System book series (TCNS, volume 8)


Extraneural metastases of malignant gliomas are rare. According to literature they tend to appear in glioblastoma patients. The rarity of metastases is attributed to the presence of blood brain barrier, absence of lymphatic vessels and short survival of the patients. Craniotomy, irradiation and ventriculoperitoneal shunting are supposed to enable the tumor cells access to extracranial sites. Metastatic dissemination in oligodendroglioma, a relatively uncommon primary brain tumor, is similarly rare and mostly occurs in patients with anaplastic oligodendroglioma. Patterns of metastatic spread in oligodendroglioma patients include lympho- and/or hematogenic pathways and dissemination via cerebrospinal fluid. Preferential sites of involvement are neck lymph nodes and spinal bones/bone marrow. The diagnosis of metastatic oligodendroglioma requires adequate clinical information and use of appropriate immunohistochemical markers with special regard to interpretation of both, positive and negative reactions.

New therapeutic approaches, prologing the already long overall survival of oligodendroglioma patients, could increase the risk of extracranial dissemination. In particular in patients with characteristic 1p19q loss of heterozygosity (LOH), present in most oligodendrogliomas, which is associated with response to chemotherapy and prolonged survival. However, regardless of histological grade and time to progression or characteristic LOH, the prognosis of metastatic oligodendroglioma remains poor. Although rare now, extraneural spread of anaplastic oligodendroglioma might in future become a less unusual complication, so it should be kept in mind. Particularly in cases with a clinical history of primary brain tumor, craniotomy and/or irradiation. Without this information the diagnosis is almost impossible.


Glial Fibrillary Acid Protein Malignant Glioma Primary Brain Tumor Neck Lymph Node Bone Marrow Involvement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Pathology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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