Intracranial germinoma with ventricular system dissemination

Shi-yun CHEN, Yue-shan PIAO, De-hong LU


Objective To study the clinical, neuroimaging and histopathological features of intracranial germinoma.  Methods One case of intracranial germinoma with ventricular system dissemination was reported, and related literatures were reviewed.  Results A 34-year-old male complained of progressive dizziness for 30 d and manifested unsteady gait for 45 d. Radiological examinations revealed low signal intensity on T1WI and hyperintense on T2WI in the corpus callosum, left cerebellum, around the fourth ventricle, aqueduct mesencephalon, the ventral pons and pineal region, with even or uneven enhancement after contrast. The clinical initial diagnosis was "intracranial multiple focal lesions and high possibility of multiple sclerosis". After well response to glucocorticoid impact and dehydration, the patient stopped taking drugs but presented relapse and exacerbation. Later, he underwent biopsy on pineal region and was diagnosed as intracranial germinoma. Microscopically, the big germ cells and lymphocytes coexisted. Tumor cells were epithelioid cells with transparent cytoplasm, prominent nuclei and mitotic activity. Lymphocytes were distributed along interstitial substance of vessel and fiber, and individual syncytiotrophoblasts were sprasely distributed. Immunohistochemical staining showed tumor cells were positive for CD117 and OCT3/4, and the syncytiotrophoblasts were positive for β-human chorionic gonadotropin ( β-hCG). The clinical symptoms were completely alleviated after radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  Conclusions Because of the sensitivity for radiotherapy and chemotherapy, intracranial germinoma can be diagnosed and treated early to improve its prognosis. However, it is very easy to disseminate along with ventricular system and form multiple lesions, leading to atypical clinical and imaging manifestations, which is a big challenge for clinical diagnosis.


doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2014.05.010


Germinoma; Pineal gland; Cerebral ventricles; Neoplasm metastasis; Immunohistochemistry; Pathology

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