"Desmoplastic" versus "classic" medulloblastoma: Comparison of DNA content, histopathology and differentiation

Felice Giangaspero, Pasquale Chieco, Claudio Ceccarelli, Gina Lisignoli, Roberto Pozzuoli, Marcello Gambacorta, Giorgio Rossi, Peter C. Burger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A microfluorometric analysis was performed to analyse the DNA content of 42 medulloblastomas (MBs) and to seek correlations, if any existed, between the DNA distribution and ploidy values, neoplasm types (i.e. classic vs desmoplastic), histological features of aggressiveness, and immunocytochemical features indicating glial and/or neuronal differentiation. Thirty-one cases were classified as classic and 11 cases as desmoplastic MBs. Ten of 11 desmoplastic MBs had a near-diploid main mode and the remaining 1 case had a near-tetraploid main mode. Moreover, 10 of 11 (90%) cases showed a "monomodal" DNA distribution diagram. All these cases showed a uniform histology. In contrast, classic MBs represented a heterogeneous group of neoplasms. Twenty-two cases were near-diploid, 5 cases were near-tetraploid and 3 cases were near-triploid. The histogram type distribution showed a similar heterogeneity. Twelve of 31 (39%) cases had a monomodal histogram, 12 (39%) cases had a bimodal diagram and 7 (22%) cases a complex DNA distribution. There was a statistically significant difference (P<0.001) in terms of prevalence of DNA monomodal histograms between classic and desmoplastic MBs. Significant correlations were not observed among classic MBs between histological features of aggresiveness, type and degree of differentiation and DNA distribution. The present study indicates that desmoplastic MBs represent a homogeneous group of neoplasms in terms of histology and DNA distribution. In contrast, classic MBs are lesions with different degrees of histologically apparent aggressiveness and a complex DNA distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalVirchows Archiv A Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Microfluorometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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