Maturation of intracranial immature teratomas: Report of two cases

Mark E. Shaffrey, Giuseppe Lanzino, Beatriz S. Lopes, Richard B. Hessler, Neal F. Kassell, Scott R. VandenBerg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Immature teratomas arising within the central neuraxis are rare neoplasms. These tumors contain diverse cell lineages that retain an embryonal character and display phenotype differentiation attributed to the three classic germ layers. The clinical management of these lesions is unclear, due in part to their low incidence and to an incomplete understanding of their natural history. Although the potential for phenotypic differentiation and cellular maturation within immature teratomas arising in the gonads is well documented, this has not been described in the intracranial tumors. In the present report, the authors describe two cases of intracranial immature teratomas, one involving the pineal region and the other involving the left frontotemporal lobes, which underwent cellular differentiation and maturation. At initial resection, the tumors from both cases were composed predominantly of primitive neuroepithelial tissue that was admixed with immature and differentiating mesenchymal and epithelial structures. No foci of germinoma, endodermal sinus, choriocarcinoma, or embryonal carcinoma tissue were present. Subsequent resections in both cases revealed an absence of immature tissue. The tumor in Case 1 contained only differentiated epithelial and mesenchymal tissue with no neuroepithelial component, whereas the tumor in Case 2 demonstrated abundant mature neuronal and glial tissue. These two cases from different intracranial sites suggest that spontaneous maturation may be a significant aspect of the natural history of intracranial immature teratomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-676
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • chemotherapy
  • intracranial neoplasm
  • prognosis
  • teratoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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