Chordoid glioma of the third ventricle is a rare glial tumour whose precise histogenesis remains uncertain. We describe two cases that presented recently to our department and review the background literature. The neoplasm tends to occur in women and its clinical presentation is variable, resulting from acute hydrocephalus or impingement upon local structures. However, the radiological appearance is distinct, with an ovoid shape, hyperdensity and uniform contrast enhancement on computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Intraoperative smear diagnosis is difficult because of the lack of specific features, although the presence of metachromatic extracellular mucin may be useful. The characteristic histological appearance is that of cords and clusters of cohesive, oval-to-polygonal epithelioid cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm and a mucinous background. There is often a mixed chronic inflammatory infiltrate with lymphocytes and plasma cells with Russell bodies. The main differentials for histological diagnosis include chordoid meningiomas, pilocytic astrocytomas and ependymomas. An immunohistochemical panel including antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein, CD 34, epithelial membrane antigen, pan cytokeratin, S100 and vimentin can be used to distinguish between these possibilities. Ultrastructurally the tumour cells have basal lamina and microvilli, reminiscent of ependymomas. The clinical outcome in our cases was poor because of the location of the lesion and its close relation to the hypothalamus. Limited follow-up after surgery with or without radiotherapy suggests that as-full-as-possible resection favours a better outcome, although surgery in this area carries significant operative risks.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
- Choroid Plexus Neoplasms
- Diagnosis, Differential
- Third Ventricle