Video: Radiation and Brain Tumors Part 3 – Brain Tumors and Outer Space, featuring Dr Sandeep Burma

Part 3 of a three-part series reviewing the effects of radiation on the brain. Join in on this grand finale as we review brain tumor development in a pilot who had logged many hours flying aircraft at high altitudes.  High altitude pilots at the edge of the Earth's protective atmospheric shield, and astronauts just beyond it,... Continue Reading →

Video: Radiation and Brain Tumors, Part 2 – Cured of One Cancer Only to Develop Another

Part 2 of a three-part series reviewing the effects of radiation on the brain.  Radiation is commonly used to treat a wide variety of neoplastic conditions and often has great success, but sometimes the treatment can cause additional problems.   Join me on a narrated tour of radiation’s dark side in this review of radiation-induced brain... Continue Reading →

Cerebral Vascular Territories

The cerebral hemispheres are supplied with blood via three major arteries: the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries.  This coronal section through the frontal lobes shows hemorrhage involving the vascular territory of which of these three major cerebral arteries? Answer:  The cerebral hemispheres are supplied with blood via three major arteries: the anterior, middle, and posterior... Continue Reading →

Ice Cream and Imaging: Typical Appearance of Vestibular Schwannoma

Cranial nerve schwannomas most commonly arise from Schwann cells that myelinate the distal aspect of the vestibular division of the 8th cranial nerve. Vestibular schwannomas, sometimes referred to by the double misnomer "acoustic neuroma" (it is a double misnomer because they are not neuromas and they do not usually involve the acoustic division of cranial... Continue Reading →

Classic Imaging: Cyst with an Enhancing Mural Nodule

For many years the only mechanism for observing gross pathologic features of CNS neoplasms was to examine brains extracted after death.  However, advancements in imaging technology now allow providers to observe typical gross neuropathological findings in the brains of living patients.  Some brain tumors have characteristic MRI findings, an example of which is a cyst... Continue Reading →

Verocay Bodies in Schwannoma

Schwannomas are peripheral nerve sheath tumors that arise from cells that myelinate peripheral nerve axons called Schwann cells. A classic histologic finding in schwannomas are Verocay bodies (arrows), which consist of short palisades of tumor cell nuclei separated by eosinophilic anucleate bands of tumor cell processes.  Verocay bodies are often more prominent in schwannomas that arise in the setting of a... Continue Reading →

Gemistocytic Astrocytoma

Astrocytomas (i.e. glial tumors that diffusely infiltrate through brain tissue) are composed of neoplastic astrocytes that may occasionally exhibit certain morphologic differences when observed microscopically. Gemistocytic astrocytes are characterized by eccentric nuclei and plump pink cytoplasm that superficially resembles the belly of a pregnant woman when viewed from above. Neoplasms that are predominantly composed of... Continue Reading →

Brain Edema

Cerebral edema, or increased swelling in the brain, can occur as the result of numerous etiologies, such as infection, inflammation, metabolic derangement, or neoplastic processes.  Typically the brain has an undulating contour featuring crests or bumps called gyri, and troughs or grooves, called sulci.  The mass effect produced by cerebral edema results in pushing or... Continue Reading →

Dandy-Walker Malformation

Dandy-Walker malformation, an uncommon brain abnormality that may be seen in isolation or in association with other congenital abnormalities of brain development, is characterized by an enlarged posterior fossa, agenesis or hypoplasia of the cerebellar vermis, and cystic dilatation of the fourth ventricle.  In this case of a term infant with multiple congenital abnormalities, the superior most aspect of the... Continue Reading →

Lacunar Infarction of Basal Ganglia

A lacunar infarct is a small infarction, or stroke, that is usually less than about 1 to 1.5 cm in size and typically occurs in deep cerebral structures (e.g. basal ganglia) of hypertensive or diabetic patients with small vessel disease of deep penetrating arteries (e.g. lenticulostriate arteries) . The gross impression of this brain, which belonged to... Continue Reading →

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