'Rhabdoid' meningioma

Arie Perry, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Scott L. Stafford, Patrice C. Abell-Aleff, Fredric B. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


It is has been suggested that rhabdoid morphology is associated with a poor prognosis, regardless of tumor histogenesis. We report a series of 15 meningiomas with rhabdoid features. Nine patients had undergone multiple resections. In six, the rhabdoid component was histologically apparent only in recurrences. Rhabdoid morphology was defined as sheets of loosely cohesive cells with eccentric nuclei and hyaline, paranuclear inclusions. Ultrastructurally, the latter consisted of whorls of intermediate filaments often entrapping lysosomes or other organelles. Meningothelial features included whorl formation and nuclear pseudoinclusions, immunohistochemical coexpression of vimentin and epithelial membrane antigen, and the ultrastructural finding of interdigitating cell membranes and intercellular junctions. At the histologic level, a conventional meningioma component was noted in most tumors; only four lesions were entirely rhabdoid. Histologic malignancy (brain invasion or anaplasia) was observed in nine cases, another two tumors being considered malignant on the basis of extracranial metastasis. In the majority, increased cell proliferation was evidenced by a high mitotic rate or MIB-1 LI. At last follow-up, 13 patients (87%) had experienced at least one recurrence and 8 (53%) were dead of disease. Median time to death was 5.8 years after initial surgery and 3.1 years after the first appearance of rhabdoid morphology. Our findings corroborate those from a smaller series recently reported by Kepes et al. on the same entity (Kepes JJ, Moral LA, Wilkinson SB, Abdullah A, Llena JF. Rhabdoid transformation of tumor cells in meningiomas: A histologic indication of increased proliferative activity. Report of four cases. Am J Surg Pathol 1998;22:231- 8). They further suggest that rhabdoid meningiomas are highly aggressive tumors and that the rhabdoid phenotype represents a marker of malignant transformation in meningiomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1482-1490
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1998


  • Brain neoplasm
  • Malignancy
  • Meningioma
  • Prognosis
  • Rhabdoid tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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