Ependymomas are glial neoplasms with a wide morphological spectrum. The majority of supratentorial ependymomas are known to harbor ZFTA fusions, most commonly to RELA. We present an unusual case of a 9-year-old boy with a supratentorial ependymoma harboring a noncanonical ZFTA-MAML2 fusion. This case had unusual histomorphological features lacking typical findings of ependymoma and bearing resemblance to a primitive neoplasm with focal, previously undescribed myogenic differentiation. We discuss the diagnostic pitfalls in this case and briefly review the histological features of ependymoma with noncanonical gene fusions. Our report underscores the importance of molecular testing in such cases to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Supratentorial ependymomas with noncanonical fusions are rare, and more studies are necessary for better risk stratification and identification of potential treatment targets.
Hydrophilic polymers are commonly used as coatings on intravascular medical devices. As intravascular pro-cedures continue to increase in frequency, the risk of embolization of this material throughout the body has become evident. These emboli may be discovered incidentally but can result in serious complications includ-ing death. Here, we report the first two cases of hydrophilic polymer embolism (HPE) identified on brain tu-mor resection following Wada testing. One patient experienced multifocal vascular complications and diffuse cerebral edema, while the other had an uneventful postoperative course. Wada testing is frequently per-formed during preoperative planning prior to epilepsy surgery or the resection of tumors in eloquent brain regions. These cases demonstrate the need for increased recognition of this histologic finding to enable fur-ther correlation with clinical outcomes.
Cases of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and its hyperacute form, acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (AHLE), have been reported in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients as rare, but most severe neurological complications. However, histopathologic evaluations of ADEM/AHLE pathology in COVID patients are extremely limited, so far having only been reported in a few adult autopsy cases. Here we compare the findings with an ADEM-like pathology in a pediatric patient taken through a biopsy procedure. Understanding the neuropathology may shed informative light on the autoimmune process affecting COVID-19 patients and provide critical information to guide the clinical management.
The majority of astroblastoma occur in a cerebral location in children and young adults. Here we describe the unusual case of a 38-year-old man found to have a rapidly growing cystic enhancing circumscribed brainstem tumor with high grade histopathology classified as astroblastoma, MN1-altered by methylome profiling. He was treated with chemoradiation and temozolomide followed by adjuvant temozolomide without progression to date over one year from treatment initiation. Astroblastoma most frequently contain a MN1-BEND2 fusion, while in this case a rare EWSR1-BEND2 fusion was identified. Only a few such fusions have been reported, mostly in the brainstem and spinal cord, and they suggest that BEND2, rather than MN1, may have a more critical functional role, at least in these regions. This unusual clinical scenario exemplifies the utility of methylome profiling and assessment of gene fusions in tumors of the central nervous system.
We present a young adult woman who developed a myxoid tumor of the pineal region having a SMARCB1 mutation, which was phenotypically similar to the recently described desmoplastic myxoid, SMARCB1-mutant tumor of the pineal region (DMT-SMARCB1). The 24-year-old woman presented with headaches, nausea, and emesis. Neuroimaging identified a hypodense lesion in CT scans that was T1-hypointense, hyperintense in both T2-weighted and FLAIR MRI scans, and displayed gadolinium enhancement. The resected tumor had an abundant, Alcian-blue positive myxoid matrix with interspersed, non-neoplastic neuropil-glial-vascular elements. It immunoreacted with CD34 and individual cells for EMA. Immunohistochemistry revealed loss of nuclear INI1 expression by the myxoid component but its retention in the vascular elements. Molecular analyses identified a SMARCB1 deletion and DNA methylation studies showed that this tumor grouped together with the recently described DMT-SMARCB1. A cerebrospinal fluid cytologic preparation had several cells morphologically similar to those in routine and electron microscopy. We briefly discuss the correlation of the pathology with the radiology and how this tumor compares with other SMARCB1-mutant tumors of the nervous system.
Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects a wide range of systems. Significant involvement of the central nervous system has been described, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Thus far, neuropathologic reports of patients who passed away from COVID-19 have generally described non-specific findings, such as variable reactive gliosis and meningeal chronic inflammatory infiltrates, as well as the consequences of the infection’s systemic complications on the brain, including ischemic infarcts and hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy. The neuropathological changes in patients with COVID-19 and large hemorrhagic strokes have not been described in detail. We report the case of an elderly male who had a long course of COVID-19 and ultimately passed away from a large intracerebral hemorrhage. In addition to acute hemorrhage, neuropathologic examination demonstrated non-specific reactive changes and chronic periventricular lesions with macrophagic and perivascular lymphocytic infiltrates without evidence of demyelination or presence of SARS-CoV-2 by PCR test. This manuscript expands the spectrum of reported neuropathological changes in patients with COVID-19.