Spinal cord high-grade infiltrating gliomas in adults: clinico-pathological and molecular evaluation

Mohammed Ali Alvi, Cristiane M. Ida, Michael A. Paolini, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Jenna Meyer, Emily G. Barr Fritcher, Sandy Goncalves, Frederic B. Meyer, Mohammed Bydon, Aditya Raghunathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Primary high-grade infiltrating gliomas of the spinal cord are rare, with prior series including limited numbers of cases and reporting poor outcomes. Additionally, the molecular profile of high-grade infiltrating gliomas of the spinal cord has not been well characterized. We identified 13 adult patients whose surgery had been performed at our institution over a 26-year-period. Radiologically, nine cases harbored regions of post-contrast enhancement. Existing slides were reviewed, and when sufficient tissue was available, immunohistochemical stains (IDH1-R132H, H3-K27M, H3K27-me3, ATRX, p53 and BRAF-V600E), and a targeted 150-gene neuro-oncology next-generation sequencing panel were performed. The 13 patients included 11 men and 2 women with a median age of 38 years (range = 18–69). Histologically, all were consistent with an infiltrating astrocytoma corresponding to 2016 WHO grades III (n = 5) and IV (n = 8). By immunohistochemistry, six cases were positive for H3K27M, all showing concomitant loss of H3K27-me3. Next-generation sequencing was successfully performed in ten cases. Next-generation sequencing studies were successfully performed in four of the cases positive for H3K27M by immunohistochemistry, and all were confirmed as H3F3A K27M-mutant. Additional recurrent mutations identified included those of TERT promoter (n = 3), TP53 (n = 5), PPM1D (n = 3), NF1 (n = 3), ATRX (n = 2), and PIK3CA (n = 2). No HIST1H3B, HIST1H3C, IDH1, IDH2, or BRAF mutations were detected. Ten patients have died since first surgery, with a median survival of 13 months and 1 year of 46%. Median survival was 48.5 months for H3K27M-positive cases, compared to 1 month for those with TERT promoter mutation and 77 months for those harboring neither (p = 0.019). Median survival for cases with TP53 mutations was 11.5 months and for those with PPM1D mutations was 84 months. Our findings suggest that high-grade infiltrating gliomas of the spinal cord in adults represent a heterogeneous group of tumors, with variable outcomes possibly related to their molecular profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1243
Number of pages8
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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