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Pathological spectrum of CNS tumours: five year study in a tertiary care hospital.

INTRODUCTION: Tumours form an integral part of disease process affecting the CNS. The spectrum of CNS tumors includes primary and secondary tumors (Metastatic). Symptomatology of tumors has a wide spectrum. The nature and severity of these symptoms depend on the location of the mass and its rate of growth. Establishment of a diagnosis is important to determine the prognosis and treatment. Tumors constitute a major part of all intracranial space occupying lesions. Although brain tumors amount to less than 2% of all malignant neoplasms and constitute a small fraction of overall human cancer burden, they form a significant proportion in children in whom CNS tumors rank second in incidence after leukemias. (1)

Patients of all races, sexes & ages develop primary brain tumors. Black population has a decreased incidence of glial tumours. (2) Most of the neoplasms of brain and spinal cord have predilection for males except meningiomas which show female preponderance. Diffusely infiltrating astrocytomas are the most frequently occurring intracranial neoplasms, accounting for >60% of all primary brain tumours. (3) Other commonly seen tumors in adults are glioblastomas, oligodendrogliomas, meningiomas, metastases, pituitary adenomas, neurilemmomas of the VIII nerve and hemangioblastomas. (4)

In children nearly two third appear infratentorially (4) and the most common tumors are astrocytomas of cerebellum and brain stem, PNET's, ependymomas and craniopharyngiomas. However pituitary adenomas & meningiomas rarely occur in children. Tumors of the spinal cord and its covering are quite rare in children and are relatively uncommon in adults. Common spinal tumors include neurilemmomas, meningiomas, ependymomas and sarcomas. CNS tumors are seen in all age groups though particular tumors may be prominent in specific age groups like medulloblastomas and pilocytic astrocytomas are mainly seen in children.

Glioblastoma multiforme usually affects the elderly age group. Brain tumors can also be divided on the basis of location into supratentorial and infratentorial tumors. Nearly two third of primary brain tumors of adults are supratentorial and of children are infratentorial in location. Astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and metastatic carcinoma account for most cerebral hemispheric tumors. Pilocytic astrocytomas and medulloblastomas exhibit a predilection for the cerebellum, whereas ependymomas frequent the fourth ventricles of children and spinal cord of adults. Myxopapillary ependymomas are nearly exclusively seen in conus medullaris and filum terminale region. Primary CNS lymphomas are seen most often within deep, periventricular white matter structures and basal ganglia.

Likewise, craniopharyngiomas and pituitary adenoma is seen in the sellar and suprasellar region. The most accepted classification of CNS tumors is on the basis of histology and has been given by WHO in 1999. (5) Molecular genetics has helped to classify the nosologic place of some CNS neoplasms. (6)

The progression to glioblastoma is characterized by a clonal expansion of cells carrying a p53 mutation. Most frequent genetic alteration in oligodendroglial tumors is loss of heterozygosity on the long arm of chromosome 19(19q). Majority of meningiomas are characterized by allelic losses involving chromosome 22. Mutations in NF 2 gene are detected in up to 60% of sporadic meningiomas. Radiological examination is often essential for the evaluation of patients suspected of having meningeal, brain and spinal cord tumours. (7)

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a five year study in which all the specimens of tumors of brain and spinal cord received in the department of Pathology were analyzed with reference to histological type and grade of tumors. In each patient the clinical findings, type and size of specimen, tumor site and radiological findings, wherever possible, were obtained from the medical records. Pathological findings (histological type and grade) were obtained by examination of hematoxylin and eosin stained slides and from information in pathology reports. Histological types were classified according to WHO classification of tumors of the nervous system.

RESULTS: A total of 315 cases were analyzed in the present study. Brain tumors formed the major part with a percentage of 87.9%, and tumors of spinal cord constituted 12.1% of all CNS tumors (Table no. 1). The most common age group affected by the CNS tumors was between 41- 50 years (27.3%) (Table no. 2). Overall incidence of CNS tumors was high in males; the male to female ratio being 1.5:1 (Table no. 3). The most common age group affected by brain tumors was 41 - 50 years accounting for 27.8% of all brain tumors.

The most common age group affected by the spinal cord tumors was between 41- 50 years accounting for 9 out of 38 cases (23.7%). Brain tumors showed male preponderance. Male to female ratio observed in brain tumors was 1.5:1 (Table no. 4). Male to female ratio observed in spinal cord tumors was 1.2:1 (Table no. 5). CNS tumors were most commonly seen in cerebral hemispheres accounting for 67.6% of total cases. CP angle was least commonly involved by tumors (3.5%). Overall most common tumor of CNS was astrocytoma (Figure 1 & 2) accounting for 105 cases (33.3%) followed by meningioma 89 cases (28.2%), pituitary adenoma 28 cases (8.9%) and Schwannoma constituting 19 cases (6%) (Table no. 6). Most common brain tumor was astrocytoma (37.9%) followed by meningioma (27.4%), pituitary adenoma (8.9%) and oligoastrocytoma (5.4%). Chordoma, hemangiopericytoma & choroid plexus papilloma were least commonly observed brain tumors in our study. Glioblastoma multiforme (Figure 3 & 4) was the most commonly observed astrocytoma in brain accounting for 69.5% of all astrocytic tumors (Table no. 7).

The most commonly observed meningeal tumor in CNS & brain was transitional meningioma (Figure 5) followed by meningothelial meningioma (Figure 6) (Table no. 8 & 9). Meningioma in brain was most commonly observed in the age group of 41-50 years accounting for 40 cases out of total 76 cases (52.6%) (Table no. 10). Female preponderance was observed in meningiomas in brain. Male to female ratio observed in meningioma was 1: 2.3(Table no. 11). Transitional meningioma was the most commonly observed meningeal tumor in brain accounting for 60.5% of all meningiomas.

Most common spinal cord tumor was meningioma (34.2%) followed by Schwannoma (31.6%). Female preponderance was observed in meningioma. Male to female ratio observed in spinal cord meningioma was 1: 2.25. Pilocytic astrocytomas (Figure 7) & medulloblastoma were the most commonly encountered CNS tumors in children accounting for 23.8% each. This was followed by Schwannomas (Figure 8) and ependymomas (Figure 9) constituting 14.3% each (Table no. 12).

DISCUSSION: This was a 5 year study conducted in a tertiary care hospital. All the specimens of CNS tumors submitted in the department of Pathology were analyzed with reference to light microscopy and were classified according to WHO classification of tumors.

Total number of cases analyzed-315: In the present study, brain tumors were more common (87.9%) in comparison to the tumors of spinal cord (12.1%). High incidence of brain tumors is in concordance with an epidemiological survey of primary tumors of brain and spinal cord done by Barker DJ et al (8) in 1976, Cole GC et al in 1982 (9) and Wen ging H et al in 1983 (10). The incidence of brain tumors in these studies was 95%, 90% and 89% respectively.

Most common age group affected by CNS tumors was between 41-50 years with mean age of presentation being 45.5 [+ or-] 2.5 years. This is collaborated by studies done by Barker DJ, Weller RO et al in 1976 (8) who reported the incidence of peak age for CNS tumors between 45-55 years. Mean age of presentation was 40.2 years and 44.8 years in studies conducted by Mehrazin et al (11) in 2005 and Yavari P et al (12) in 2006 respectively.

A higher incidence of CNS tumors was seen in the males. Male to female ratio in the present study was 1.5: 1. This is in concordance with a statistical analysis of CNS tumors done by Weller RO et al in 1976, (8) Shi-ju Z et al in 1982 (10) and Mehrazin M et al in 2006 (11) who reported male preponderance in the CNS tumours, with male to female ratio being 1.53: 1, 1.8:1 and 2:1 respectively.

In our study, all the brain tumours showed male preponderance except meningiomas which showed female preponderance. Male to female ratio observed in meningiomas was 1: 2.3 in brain tumours. This correlated with studies done by Barker J et al in 1976, (8) Cole JC et al in 1989. (9)

Christensen J et al in 1995 (13) and Mehrazin M et al in 2006 (11) who reported male to female ratio as 1:2, 1:1.76, 1:1.8 and 1:2 respectively.

Zuccaro G and Sosa F et al in 200714 found cerebral hemispheres as the most common site of involvement by brain tumours (62%) and cerebellopontine angle as the least common site (5%). Our study is in concordance with the above findings. In the present study, 76.9% of brain tumours were seen in cerebral hemispheres and only 4% were found in cerebellopontine angle.

Astrocytic tumours were the commonest tumours in CNS in the present study accounting for 33.3% of total cases. This is collaborated by a statistical analysis of CNS tumours conducted by Qing Shenq T et al in 1982 (10) in which astrocytic tumours constituted 42% of all cases of CNS tumours. Astrocytic tumours were second most commonly observed tumours following meningioma in the studies conducted by Yavari P et al in 2006 (12) and Bouffe E et al in 2007 (15) accounting for 23.4% and 30.5% of all cases respectively.

Barker DJ et al in 1976, (8) Fleury A et al in 1997 (16) and Mc Carthy BJ et al in 1999 (17) observed glioblastoma multiforme as the commonest astrocytic tumor constituting 52%, 59.5% and 56% respectively. In our study also glioblastoma multiforme is the commonest astrocytic tumor. It constituted 69.5% of all astrocytic tumours.

Meningiomas and Schwannomas were the most commonly observed spinal cord tumours in the present study accounting for 34.2% and 31.6% cases respectively. This is in concordance with a statistical analysis of CNS tumours done by Qing--shenq et al in 1982 (10) and Yavari P et al in 2006 12who reported nerve sheath tumours and meningiomas as the commonest tumours of spinal cord accounting for 29.5% and 25.8% of all cases respectively.

In the present study, grade I meningiomas formed the bulk of meningeal tumours followed by grade II & III. Incidence of grade I, II and III meningiomas in our study was 94.4%, 4.5% & 1.1% respectively. Our findings matched with the study done by Rockhill J et al in 2007 18 who reported the incidence of grade I, grade II and grade III meningiomas as 90%, 6% and 2% respectively.

Kepes JJ et al in 1982, (19) Fukuyama et al in 2006 (20) and Mehrazin M et al in 2006 (11) reported transitional meningioma as the commonest type of meningioma accounting for 55%, 60% and 51% of all meningeal tumours in brain. In the present study also this is the commonest histological type constituting 60.5% of all meningiomas in brain.

Boccardo F and Mina G et al in 1984 (21) and Okinogami et al in 2006 (20) have reported CNS involvement by metastatic deposits in 11% and 7% cases respectively. However in the present study metastatic deposits were observed in 3.2% of all CNS tumours.

West RR and Wilkin PR et al in 1989 (9) observed maximum cases of pilocytic astrocytoma (31.5%) in childhood in an epidemiological survey of primary tumours of brain and spinal cord in South East Wales. In the present study, pilocytic astrocytoma and medulloblastoma were the most frequent childhood tumours constituting 23.8% each.

CONCLUSION: This was a 5 year study conducted in a tertiary care hospital. A total of 315 specimens of CNS tumours submitted in the department of Pathology were analyzed with reference to light microscopy and were classified according to WHO classification of tumours. The following features were highlighted in this study: - Brain tumours were much common than tumours of spinal cord. These were 8 times the spinal cord tumours. All the brain and spinal cord tumours showed male preponderance except meningiomas in which male to female ratio was 1:2.3. Mean age of presentation of CNS tumours was 45.5 years. Overall, astrocytomas were the most common CNS tumours followed by meningiomas. Among the astrocytic tumours, glioblastoma multiforme was commonest accounting for 69.5% of all astrocytic tumours. Transitional meningioma was the most commonly observed meningeal tumor in brain as well as spinal cord. Pilocytic astrocytoma and medulloblastoma were the commonest tumours seen in childhood.

DOI: 10.14260/jemds/2014/2450

REFERENCES:

(1.) PL. Lantos, SR Vandenberg, Kleihues P. Greenfield's Neuropathology (Vol 2).8th edition; 1997: 583

(2.) Fan KJ, Kovi J, Earle KM. The ethnic distribution of primary CNS tumours: AFIP, 1958-1970. J. Neuropathol Exp Neurol 1977; 36-41.

(3.) Kleihues P, Cavanee WK. Pathology and Genetics of tumours of the nervous system: 10;2000

(4.) Steven. G. Silverberg. Principles and practice of surgical pathology and cytopathology. 3rd edition; 1997: 2926

(5.) Ekstrand AJ, James CD, Cavanee WK, et al. Genes for epithelial growth factor and their expression in human gliomas in vivo. Cancer Res. 1991; 51: 2164-2172.

(6.) Kleihues P, Burger PC, Scheithauer BW. The new WHO classification of brain tumours. Brain Pathol. 1993; 3: 255-268.

(7.) Osborn AG. Diagnostic Neuroradiology. St Louis: Mosby; 1994: 22.

(8.) Barker DJ, Weller RO et al. Epidemiology of primary tumours of brain and spinal cord. A regional survey in Southern England. J Neurosurg Psychiatry .1976 Mar; 39(3): 209-216.

(9.) Cole GC, Wilkins PR et al. An epidemiological survey of primary tumours of brain and spinal cord in South East Wales. Br J Neurosurg. 1989; 3(4): 487-493.

(10.) Wen ging H, Shi-ju Z et al. Statistical analysis of CNS tumours in China. J Neurosurg.1982; 56 (4): 555-64.

(11.) Mehrazin M, Rahmat H et al. Epidemiology of primary intracranial tumours in Iran, 1978 2003. Asian Pac J Cancer. 2006 Apr-Jun; 7: 283-8.

(12.) Yavari P, Rahmat H et al. Epidemiology of primary intracranial tumours. Asian Pac J Cancer. 2006 Apr-Jun; 7: 186-92.

(13.) Christensen J, Raffin E et al. Primary intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms in Denmark. Uqeskr Laeqer. 1995; 157(41): 5716-20.

(14.) Zuccaro G, Sosa F et al. CP angle lesions in children. Childs Nerv Syst 2007 Feb; 23(2): 177-83.

(15.) Larouche V, Bouffe E et al. Tumours of CNS in the first year of life. Pediatr Blood Cancer.2007; 29(2): 89-95.

(16.) Fleury A, Daures JP et al. Descriptive epidemiology of cerebral gliomas in France. Cancer 1997; 79 (1): 1195-1202.

(17.) Mc Carthy BJ, Surawicz TS et al. Descriptive epidemiology of primary brain and CNS tumours, 1990-1994. Neurol Oncol; 1999; 1 (1): 14-25.

(18.) Rockhill J et al. Intracranial meningiomas: an overview of diagnosis and treatment. Neurosurg Focus, 2007; 23 (4): E.

(19.) Kepes JJ. Meningiomas: pathology and differential diagnosis. Masson publishing; New York, 1982: 1205-6.

(20.) Okinogami, Fukuyama et al. Imaging, diagnosis and fundamental knowledge of common brain tumours in adults. Radjat med; 2006 Jul.24 (6): 482-92.

(21.) Boccardo F, Mina G et al. Natural history and staging of brain metastasis. Minerva Med, 1984 May 31; 75: 1369-75.

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AUTHORS:

[1.] Rekha Gupta

[2.] Harpreet Puri

[3.] Vineeta Malhotra

PARTICULARS OF CONTRIBUTORS:

[1.] Specialist, Department of Pathology, ESIC Model Hospital, Ludhiana.

[2.] Professor, Department of Pathology, DMC & H, Ludhiana.

[3.] Professor, Department of Pathology, DMC & H, Ludhiana.

NAME ADDRESS EMAIL ID OF THE CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:

Dr. Rekha Gupta, H. No. 214, W. No. 6, Ashok Puri, Ahmedgarh District, Sangrur-148021. E-mail:rekha.esic@gmail.com

Date of Submission: 08/03/2014.

Date of Peer Review: 10/03/2014.

Date of Acceptance: 28/03/2014.

Date of Publishing: 21/04/2014.
Table No. 1

Site          Total No. of Cases   Percentage of Cases

Brain                277                  87.9%
Spinal Cord           38                  12.1%
Total                315                  100%

TABLE No. 2: AGE WISE DISTRIBUTION OF THE CNS TUMOURS

Age Group    Total No. of Cases   Percentage of cases
(years)

1-10                 09                  2.8%
11-20                12                  3.8%
21-30                33                  10.5%
31-40                60                   19%
41-50                86                  27.3%
51-60                59                  18.7%
61-70                42                  13.3%
71-80                14                  4.4%
TOTAL               315                  100%

TABLE No. 3 : DIVISION OF CNS TUMORS ON THE BASIS OF GENDER

Gender    Total no. of cases   Percentage of cases

Male             187                  59.4%
Female           128                  40.6%
TOTAL            315                  100%

TABLE No. 4: DIVISION OF BRAIN TUMORS ON THE BASIS OF GENDER

Gender   Total No. of cases   Percentage of cases

Male            166                   60%
Female          111                   40%
TOTAL           277                  100%

TABLE No. 5:  DIVISION OF SPINAL CORD TUMORS ON THE BASIS OF GENDER

Gender    Total No. of cases   Percentage of cases

Male              21                  55.3%
Female            17                  44.7%
TOTAL             38                  100%

TABLE No. 6: DIVISION OF CNS TUMORS ACCORDING TO
HISTOLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS

Histological                No. of   Percentage
diagnosis                   cases     of cases

Astrocytoma                  105       33.3%
Meningioma                    89       28.2%
Pituitary adenoma             28        8.9%
Schwannomas                   19         6%
Oligoastrocytoma              15        4.8%
Metastatic deposits           10        3.2%
Oligodendroglioma             08        2.5%
Medulloblastoma               07        2.2%
Hemangioblastoma              06        1.9%
Lymphoma                      05        1.6%
Plasmacytoma                  05        1.6%
Ependymoma                    04        1.3%
Craniopharyngioma             04        1.3%
Chordoma                      03        0.9%
Neurofibroma                  02        0.6%
Ganglioglioma                 02        0.6%
Choroid plexus papilloma      01        0.3%
Hemangiopericytoma            01        0.3%
Cavernous hemangioma          01        0.3%
TOTAL                        315        100%

TABLE No. 7: DISTRIBUTION OF VARIOUS HISTOLOGICAL
SUBTYPES OF ASTROCYTOMA IN BRAIN

Histological subtype                   No. of cases   Percentage
                                                       of cases

Glioblastoma multiforme(GBM)                73          69.5%
Anaplastic astrocytoma                      10           9.5%
Diffuse astrocytoma                         09           8.6%
Pilocytic astrocytoma                       06           5.7%
Gemistocytic astrocytoma                    04           3.8%
Fibrillary astrocytoma                      01           0.9%
Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma         01           0.9%
Gliosarcoma                                 01           0.9%
TOTAL                                      105           100%

TABLE No. 8: DISTRIBUTION OF VARIOUS HISTOLOGICAL
SUBTYPES OF MENINGIOMA IN CNS

Histological subtype         No. of cases   Percentage
                                             of cases

Transitional meningioma           52          58.4%
Meningothelial meningioma         11          12.4%
Psammomatous meningioma           09          10.1%
Angiomatous meningioma            06           6.7%
Atypical meningioma               04           4.5%
Fibroblastic meningioma           03           3.4%
Anaplastic meningioma             01           1.1%
Microcystic meningioma            01           1.1%
Secretory meningioma              01           1.1%
Metaplastic meningioma            01           1.1%
TOTAL                             89           100%

TABLE No. 9: DISTRIBUTION OF VARIOUS HISTOLOGICAL
SUBTYPES OF MENINGIOMA IN BRAIN

Histological                 No. of   Percentage
subtype                      cases     of cases

Transitional meningioma        46       60.5%
Meningothelial meningioma      10       13.2%
Angiomatous meningioma         06        7.9%
Atypical meningioma            04        5.3%
Psammomatous meningioma        03        3.9%
Fibroblastic meningioma        03        3.9%
Anaplastic meningioma          01        1.3%
Microcystic meningioma         01        1.3%
Secretory meningioma           01        1.3%
Metaplastic meningioma         01        1.3%
TOTAL                          76        100%

TABLE No. 10: AGE WISE DISTRIBUTION
OF THE MENINGIOMA IN BRAIN

Age Group    Total No. of   Percentage of
(years)         Cases           cases

21-30             03            3.9%
31-40             13            17.1%
41-50             40            52.6%
51-60             16             21%
61-70             04            5.3%
TOTAL             76            100%

TABLE No. 11: DIVISION OF MENINGIOMA
IN BRAIN ON BASIS OF GENDER

Gender   Total No. of cases   Percentage of cases

Male             23                  30.3%
Female           53                  69.7%
TOTAL            76                  100%

TABLE NO. 12: COMMONLY SEEN CNS TUMORS IN CHILDREN
& ADOLESCENTS (1-20 YEARS)

Tumor                          No. of cases   Percentage of cases

Pilocytic astrocytoma               05               23.8%
Medulloblastoma                     05               23.8%
Schwannomas                         03               14.3%
Ependymoma                          03               14.3%
Craniopharyngioma                   02               9.5%
SEGA                                01               4.8%
Anaplastic oligoastrocytoma         01               4.8%
Meningioma                          01               4.8%
TOTAL                               21               100%
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Title Annotation:ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Author:Gupta, Rekha; Puri, Harpreet; Malhotra, Vineeta
Publication:Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
Article Type:Report
Date:Apr 21, 2014
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