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Gneral Pediatric Brain Tumor




Pediatric brain tumors are generally classified depending on the cell type and location of origin in the brain. 

The brain is composed of two main cell types:

  • Neurons
  • Glial cells

Both arise in early development from primitive neural ectoderm. 


Most pediatric brain tumors are gliomas or blastomas, and thus will contain these terms in their names.

The majority of primary brain tumors arise from glial cells and are broadly termed “gliomas.”  Gliomas can be further divided as by glial subtypes:

  • Astrocytes (astrocytoma)
  • Oligodendrocytes (oligodendroglioma)
  • Ependymal cells (ependymoma)
  • Microglia 

Blastomas are malignant tumors whose cells have undeveloped or embryonic characteristics.

The following is a generally accepted classification scheme for pediatric brain tumors:


Histopathologic classification of CNS tumors- WHO classification 1994:

Tumor Origin

Tumor Cell Type

Tumor Examples

Tumors of neuroepithelial tissue



Astrocytic tumors

  • Astrocytoma
  • Anaplastic astrocytoma
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma
  • Pleomorphic xanthroastrocytoma
  • Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma

Oligodendroglial tumors

  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma

Ependymal tumors

  • Ependymoma
  • Anaplastic Ependymoma
  • Myxopapillary Ependymoma

Choroid plexus tumors

  • Choroid plexus papilloma
  • Choroid plexus carcinoma

Neuronal tumors

  • Gangliocytoma
  • Ganglioma
  • Desmoplastic infantile neuroepithelioma
  • Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNET)

Pineal tumors

  • Pineocytoma
  • Pineoblastoma

Embryonal tumors


Primary neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs)

  • Medulloblastoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Ependymoblastoma

Other embryonal cells

  • [P8]Medulloepithelioma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Ependymoblastoma[P10]

Germ cell tumors




  • Germinoma
  • Embryonal carcinoma
  • Endodermal sinus tumor
  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Teratoma
  • Mixed germ cell tumors
  • Ependymoblastoma





Tumors of the sellar region

  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Craniopharyngioma



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