Revised: June 2014
These are neoplasms composed of neoplastic neuronal cells, a gangliocytoma, or a combination of neoplastic neurons and neoplastic glial cells, a ganglioglioma. At times a low-grade glial neoplasm with trapped, but non-neoplastic neurons, is mistaken for a ganglioglioma. These tumors are more common in children and young adults with a predilection for the temporal lobes. As such seizures are a common presentation. Imaging studies reveal these lesions to be cystic and often large and densely enhancing. Due to this latter feature, they can be mistaken for more malignant tumors when seen on CT or MRI scans.
These tumors are very slow-growing. Surgical resection is usually highly successful at complete or near-complete removal and thus succeeds at symptomatic improvement or symptom control. As these lesions are very slow growing, surgery is often the only intervention required. Malignant transformation is rare, and has been only reported from the glial elements of a ganglioglioma.
Central neurocytomas are discrete intraventricular tumors, typically found in the region of the septum pellucidum. Their histologic appearance mimics that of an oligodendroglioma, but the location of the tumor and the presence of neuronal markers confirms the diagnosis. These tumors can usually be aggressively resected which is felt to be curative. Even with subtotal removal, the slow growth of the tumor still portends a very good prognosis.