Unique findings of subependymal giant cell astrocytoma within cortical tubers in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex: a histopathological evaluation

Joel S. Katz, Hyman Frankel, Tracy Ma, David Zagzag, Benjamin Liechty, Bruria Ben Zeev, Michal Tzadok, Orrin Devinsky, Howard L. Weiner, Jonathan Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Tuberous sclerosis is associated with three central nervous system pathologies: cortical/subcortical tubers, subependymal nodules (SENs), and subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs). Tubers are associated with epilepsy, which is often medication-resistant and often leads to resective surgery. Recently, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (mTORi) have been shown to be effective reducing seizure burden in some patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)-related refractory epilepsy. mTORi have also been shown to be an alternative for surgery treating SEGAs. We describe several cases of resected tubers that contained SEGA tissue without an intraventricular SEGA. Methods: After institutional review board (IRB) protocol approval, we retrospectively reviewed the surgical-pathological data for all TSC patients who underwent cortical resections for treatment of refractory epilepsy at NYU Langone Medical Center and Tel Aviv Medical Center between 2003 and 2013. Data included demographics, epilepsy type, MRI characteristics, epilepsy outcome, and histopathological staining. Results: We reviewed cortical resections from 75 patients with complete pathological studies. In three patients, cortical lesions demonstrated histopathological findings consistent with a SEGA within the resected tuber tissue, with no intraventricular SEGA. All lesions were cortically based and none had any intraventricular extension. No patient had been treated before surgery with an mTORi. Two of the three patients remain Engel grade I–II. All lesions stained positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), synaptophysin, and neuronal nuclear antigen (NeuN). Conclusion: This is the first description of cortical tubers harboring SEGA tissue. This observation though preliminary may suggest a subgroup of patients with intractable epilepsy in whom mTORi may be considered before surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-607
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • mTOR inhibitors
  • Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma
  • Tuber
  • Tuberous sclerosis

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