Gliomatosis cerebri (GC) or GC-like? A picture to be reconsidered in neuro-oncology based on large retrospective analysis of GC series

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Introduction: Gliomatosis cerebri (GC), defined until 2016 as a distinct astrocytic glioma entity, has been removed from the 2016 World Health Organization classification of tumors of the central nervous system. However, its identity is still debated. Materials and methods: We retrospectively present 122 patients, including a subgroup with histology confirmation (n = 75, cohort b). Results: Radiological features showed extension limited to 3 lobes in 31%; bilateral, midline, and basal ganglia and subtentorial involvement in 95%, 52%, 84%, and 60%, respectively; and contrast enhancement in 59.5%. Perioperative mortality occurred in 4%. Histology concluded for grades II, III, and IV, respectively, in 31%, 35%, and 22% (not specified in 12%). Thirty-one percent had isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 mutation. Treatments included radiotherapy in 51.2% and chemotherapy in 74.5%. Median overall survival was 17 months. Negative prognostic factors for survival were older age, poorer Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS), subtentorial, midline and disseminated disease, and lack of chemotherapy, at univariate analysis. At multivariate analysis, KPS ≥ 80, chemotherapy, and subtentorial and disseminated disease remained prognostic (p < 0.0001). For cohort b, same prognostic factors were confirmed, except for midline location, at univariate analysis; at multivariate analysis, only KPS ≥ 80 and chemotherapy remained prognostic (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: We described clinical, neuroimaging, management, and histomolecular features of one of the largest GC series. We identified KPS ≥ 80, radiological pattern as subtentorial localization and dissemination, and chemotherapy as prognostic factors, at multivariate analysis. Planning prospective study, associated to focused genetic assays, could help to clarify if GC has specific features that may result in the identification as a separate entity from other gliomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2111-2120
Number of pages10
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Chemotherapy
  • Disseminated disease
  • Gliomatosis cerebri
  • Prognostic factors
  • Subtentorial involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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