Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Background & Objective: Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) is a rare primary WHO Grade II astrocytic tumor comprising of < 1% of all astrocytomas. It is generally benign and slow growing however disease progression and malignant transformation with anaplastic features have been infrequently reported. Our objective was to assess clinicopathological characteristics of this rare tumor at our center.
A retrospective study was conducted at Aga Khan University Hospital from January 1992 till January 2016. Data was entered on a proforma including patient demographics, clinical features, tumor location, histological features and follow-up, where available.
Forty Seven cases of PXA were retrieved during the study period. The mean age was 23.8 years (SD=15.1) and median age was 19 years. The most frequent symptom was head ache (n=31). Male were more frequently affected (n=26). The commonest location was temporal lobe. On microscopic examination, tumors were pleomorphic without mitoses or necrosis, however two cases showed increased mitotic activity, and one case revealed associated gliosarcoma. Follow-up of only 29 cases was available for a period ranging between 2 and 184 months (85 months +/- 56 months). Outcome was good in 27 patients with the last follow up showing no radiographic or clinical evidence of tumor recurrence.
PXA is an infrequent tumor in our population also, with less than 50 cases identified in two decades study period. Due to its rarity and its bizarre histomorphology, it should be diagnosed correctly, as it has got better prognosis than other astrocytic tumors.


Pakistan Journal of Medical Science

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