Three cases of pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA), one of which showed anaplastic evolution, are described. In all three the PXA tumors were well circumscribed and could be totally removed. Light-microscopically, pleomorphic tumor cells clustered gregariously and often formed alveolar structures. Electron microscopy revealed various epithelial properties, such as junctions and interdigitations between apposing tumor cells, and prominent basal laminae surrounding tumor nests. The circumscribed growth of PXA, as contrasted with an infiltrative growth of usual astrocytoma, can be attributed to the cellular cohesion based on the epithelial properties of the tumor cells. In the third patient, tumor recurred 6 months postoperatively. Although the recurrent tumor retained the alveolar structures, pleomorphism and various degenerative features of the tumor cells diminished with advance in the proliferative activities.
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