Gliomatosis Cerebri

Russian article

General characteristics

Gliomatosis cerebri is an uncommon low-grade primary infiltrative brain tumor manifested by diffuse overgrowth of neoplastic glial cells in at least two lobes of the brain with relative preservation of the underlying cytoarchitecture and sparing of the neurons (Dunn, Jr., and Kernohan 1956; Artigas et al. 1985).

Imaging and Location

It represents a more extensive form of diffuse glioma and presents with an enlargement of the lobes and hemispheres without distortion of the normal brain anatomy. Diagnosis of this disease, which occurs in the second and third decades of life, is difficult because the symptoms are variable and nonspecific.

MRI is the imaging method of choice in gliomatosis cerebri because it reveals diffuse infiltration as increased signal intensity on T2-weighted images(Keene et al. 1999; Ponce et al. 1988).

MRI, especially with the use of FLAIR, shows better than CT the continuity of abnormal tissue between the lesions and therefore enables a more correct estimation of disease extent, assisting accurate diagnosis.

Contrast enhancement

Enhancement is rare, but may occur in malignant transformation of the lesion.

Clinical symptoms

Mental deterioration and seizures are the main clinical manifestations.


The disease is usually slowly progressive, although a secondary transformation into glioblastoma multiforme can occur (Romero 1988).


  1. M.F. Reiser, W. Semmler, H. Hricak (Eds.) "Magnetic Resonance Tomography", Springer 2008

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