Pediatric Medulloblastoma: Ultrastructure

  • Gerhard Franz Walter
  • Douglas A. Weeks
Part of the Pediatric Cancer book series (PECA, volume 3)


In this chapter we explore the ultrastructural spectrum of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant tumor of the central nervous system in childhood. All medulloblastomas dis­play morphologic evidence of neuronal differentiation by electron microscopy, ranging from minimal to quite prominent. A semi-quantitative classification scheme for this feature is provided and illustrated. A lesser known quality of some cases of medulloblastoma is their capacity to undergo divergent differentiation. We describe and illustrate three forms of this, including astrocytic, myogenic and melanotic. Recognition of such divergent differentiation in the neoplastic cell population of medulloblastoma by electron microscopy can aid in the prevention of diagnostic errors, and may potentially identify subtypes susceptible to alternative therapies.


Neuronal Differentiation Myogenic Differentiation Dense Core Vesicle Striate Muscle Fiber Large Dense Core Vesicle 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuropathologyKlinikum KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.Department of PathologyOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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