Primitive cerebral tumor with rhabdoid features: A case of phenotypic rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system

Douglas A. Weeks, Richelle L. Malott, Craig W. Zuppan, Boleslaw H. Liwnicz, J. Bruce Beckwith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The rhabdoid tumor (RT) was first described as an aggressive neoplasm of unknown histogenesis affecting the kidneys of infants and young children, but has since been reported in all ages and in many other primary sites, including the central nervous system. It has been shown, however, that the histologic and cytologic features of RT can be mimicked by many other tumors of known histogenesis. For this and other reasons it remains controversial whether cases of putative extrarenal RT represent the same histogenetic entity as RT of the kidney (RTK), another entity or entities, or merely a diverse collection of unrelated tumors sharing a common morphologic phenotype. The present paper describes a lethal primary cerebral tumor in a 26-month-old Hispanic boy that was composed predominantly of cells exhibiting the classic rhabdoid phenotype by light microscopy. lmmunocytochemical and ultrastructural studies disclosed features of primitive neuroglial differentiation not seen in RTK. The findings in this case, as well as evidence from other studies, would seem to support the notion that primary RT of the brain may in fact constitute a morphologic and clinicopathologic entity. However, hat entity likely represents a distinctive type of neuroglial neoplasm, more closely related t o other primitive brain tumors than t o RTK.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain tumors
  • Electron microscopy
  • Extrarenal rhabdoid tumor
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Pediatric brain tumors
  • Primitive neural tumors
  • Rhabdoid tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Structural Biology


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