Astroblastomas are rare, usually circumscribed, supratentorial tumors of young subjects and are characterized by a perivascular arrangement of the tumor cells. Their clinical behavior is unpredictable and their prognosis has been regarded as intermediate between that of astrocytomas and glioblastomas. A personal series of 23 astroblastomas was reviewed, adequate postoperative follow-up being available in 13 patiens. Two distinct histological types were encountered: low-grade and high-grade. The low-grade type comprised tumors with better differentiated and more benign-appearing microscopical features. Five of the 8 patients with tumors of this type who were available for follow-up have survived from 3 to 20 years after treatment; in 1 patient the tumor converted into a fatal glioblastoma after 4 1/2 years. The high-grade type consisted of tumors with more anaplastic features. Three of the 4 patients with tumors of this type available for follow-up died after 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years, the astroblastomas in 2 of them having converted into a glioblastoma and a gliosarcoma, respectively. One patient, however, has had an unexpected length of postoperative survival of 11 1/2 years. The best clinical results were obtained after total or subtotal resection of the tumor, followed by radiotherapy. The role of chemotherapy is still uncertain. This form of glioma illustrates the discrepancies that may sometimes be apparent between histopathological features and length of postoperative survival. The prognosis is also further complicated by the potential of the astroblastoma to convert into a more malignant type of glioma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology