Anaplastic astroblastoma presenting as massive, sudden-onset, intraparenchymal hemorrhage

Karen A. Johnson, Jose M. Bonnin, Joel C. Boaz, Annette C. Douglas-Akinwande, Eyas M. Hattab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Astroblastoma is a rare primary glial tumor of children and young adults, typically located in the cerebral hemispheres and presenting as a well-circumscribed, nodular, often cystic enhancing mass. The existence of astroblastoma as a distinct clinicopathologic entity has long been debated but is recognized in the 2007 WHO classification of CNS tumors. The grading of these tumors remains unsettled. Currently, no grade has been established and there are no clearly defined diagnostic criteria for low- or high-grade tumors. Astroblastomas in general are thought to have a favorable outcome with low rates of recurrence following gross total resection. We report a case of astroblastoma with 'high-grade/anaplastic' histology in a 12-year-old, previously healthy girl. The patient experienced severe, sudden-onset headache, and quickly became comatose. Head CT showed a massive intraparenchymal hemorrhage in the right frontal lobe with surrounding edema. She underwent emergent posterior frontal craniotomy for decompression and hematoma evacuation. Pathologic examination revealed a sharply demarcated hemorrhagic heterogeneous glial tumor with focal papillary architecture, densely hyalinized blood vessels, and intensely GFAP-positive perivascular cells. The tumor showed unequivocal high-grade features including an elevated proliferative index. The diagnosis of anaplastic astroblastoma was rendered. The patient expired on postoperative day 30. This case illustrates the potential poor outcome of high-grade astroblastoma and highlights the morphologic heterogeneity of this rare neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-461
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • Astroblastoma
  • Brain neoplasm
  • High-grade glioma
  • Low-grade glioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

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