Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma of childhood: MR imaging and diffusion MR imaging features

W. Moore, D. Mathis, L. Gargan, D. C. Bowers, L. J. Klesse, L. Margraf, Korgun Koral

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas are rare astrocytic neoplasms of childhood and young adulthood. The purpose of this retrospective review was to evaluate MR imaging features of pediatric pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas with an emphasis on diffusion MR imaging.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Review of the neuro-oncology data base revealed 11 pediatric patients (range, 4.7-16.1 years) with pleomorphic xanthoastroacytomas with 9 of these patients having preoperative MR imaging available. Six patients had preoperative diffusion MR imaging. Demographics, histopathology slides, conventional imaging characteristics (location, cystic component, hemorrhage, enhancement, vasogenic edema, inner table scalloping), and ADC metrics (mean tumor ADC and tumor to normal brain ADC ratio) were evaluated.

RESULTS: Three pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas had anaplastic features. Ten tumors were supratentorial. Two-thirds (6 of 9) of all tumors were either predominantly cystic or had cystic components, and three-fourths (6 of 8) of the supratentorial tumors had associated inner table scalloping. Seven of the 9 tumors had marked vasogenic edema (>10 mm). Mean tumoral ADC (n = 7) was 912 ± 219 × 10-6 mm2/s (min-max: 617-1189). The tumor to normal brain ADC ratio was 1.14 ± 0.26 (min-max: 0.75-1.47).

CONCLUSIONS: Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma should be entertained in the differential diagnosis of peripheral supratentorial tumors that appear during childhood. Cysts, inner table scalloping, and marked vasogenic edema are relatively frequent features. Relatively low ADC values and ADC ratios are not uncommon in pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2192-2196
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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