Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma

General characteristics

Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma is a rare variant of an astrocytic tumor composed of pleomorphic and lipidized cells expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). [1]


This tumor accounts for less than 1% of all astrocytic neoplasms, typically develops in children and young adults, and commonly involves the cerebrum and meninges. [1]


The tumor typically presents with a stable histology (grade I) and has a good prognosis. In histology, the tumor is well circumscribed with a low proliferation index in microscopy. [1]


Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas typically occur supratentorially in the cerebral hemispheres and present as hypointense on T1-weighted MRI, with the cystic tumor components having high signal intensity. [1]


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