The WHO classification of tumors of the nervous system

Paul Kleihues, David N. Louis, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Lucy B. Rorke, Guido Reifenberger, Peter C. Burger, Webster K. Cavenee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1466 Scopus citations


The new World Health Organization (WHO) classification of nervous system tumors, published in 2000, emerged from a 1999 international consensus conference of neuropathologists. New entities include chordoid glioma of the third ventricle, cerebellar liponeurocytoma, atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor, and perineurioma. Several histological variants were added, including tanycytic ependymoma, large cell medulloblastoma, and rhabdoid meningioma. The WHO grading scheme was updated and, for meningiomas, extensively revised. In recognition of the emerging role of molecular diagnostic approaches to tumor classification, genetic profiles have been emphasized, as in the distinct subtypes of glioblastoma and the already clinically useful 1p and 19q markers for oligodendroglioma and 22q/INI1 for atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors. In accord with the new WHO Blue Book series, the actual classification is accompanied by extensive descriptions and illustrations of clinicopathological characteristics of each tumor type, including molecular genetic features, predictive factors, and separate chapters on inherited tumor syndromes. The 2000 WHO classification of nervous system tumors aims at being used and implemented by the neuro-oncology and biomedical research communities worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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