Virchows Archiv B

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 25–34 | Cite as

Epithelial differentiation in gliomas, meningiomas and choroid plexus papillomas

  • F. F. Cruz-Sanchez
  • M. Garcia-Bachs
  • M. L. Rossi
  • S. Rodriguez-Prados
  • I. Ferrer
  • H. B. Coakham
  • J. C. Ferreres
  • J. Figols
  • A. Palacin
Original Articles


The immunohistological findings using antibodies to different intermediate filaments (glial fibrillary acidic protein, vimentin and two types of cytokeratin) and epithelial membrane antigen are described in 89 gliomas, 19 meningiomas and 8 choroid plexus papillomas (CPPs) from adult patients. All the patients had total or subtotal surgical excision of their tumours with clinical follow up for between 3 and 7 years. The immunohistological results were correlated with the histological features and patient survival. Tumours other than low grade astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and anaplastic ependymomas expressed one or more epithelial markers. This immunohistological evidence of epithelial differentiation in the absence of histological epithelial features in gliomas confirms that the two are not necessarily correlated. It is concluded that the expression of epithelial markers in some intradural tumours may reflect aberrant differentiation related to the degree of anaplasia in poorly differentiated astrocytomas and glioblastomas. All the patients with anaplastic epithelial marker-positive gliomas died within 1 year, whereas only 68% of patients with marker-negative tumours died within the follow-up period. In ependymomas and meningiomas, the expression of epithelial markers may reflect their histogenesis, while in malignant CPPs such expression could denote either their aberrant differentiation or histogenetic derivation.

Key words

Brain tumour Cytokeratin Epithelial membrane antigen Glial fibrillary acidic protein 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. F. Cruz-Sanchez
    • 1
  • M. Garcia-Bachs
    • 2
  • M. L. Rossi
    • 3
  • S. Rodriguez-Prados
    • 1
  • I. Ferrer
    • 2
  • H. B. Coakham
    • 4
  • J. C. Ferreres
    • 5
  • J. Figols
    • 5
  • A. Palacin
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurological Tissue BankUniversity of Barcelona and Department of Pathology, Hospital Clinico Y ProvincialBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Hospital Principes de EspanaHospitalet de LlobregatBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of NeuropathologyMidland Centre for Neurosurgery and Neurology (MCNN)BirminghamEngland
  4. 4.Brain Tumour Research Lab, Department of NeurosurgeryFrenchay HospitalBristolEngland
  5. 5.Department of PathologyHospital Marques de ValdecillaSantanderSpain

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