Nonrandom chromosomal gains in pilocytic astrocytomas of childhood

Frances V. White, Douglas C. Anthony, Eduardo J. Yunis, Nancy J. Tarbell, R. Michael Scott, Deborah E. Schofield

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61 Scopus citations


Low-grade astrocytomas are the most common central nervous system (CNS) tumor occurring in the pediatric age group. Although many of these tumors are karyotypically normal, various studies have reported gains of chromosomes in a significant proportion of cases. We had the opportunity to karyotype two pilocytic astrocytomas occurring in 5- and 15-year-old children. These tumors were characterized by stemlines of 49,XY,+4,+7,+8 and 48,XX,+7,+8. Using these patients as index cases and based on additional karyotypic data that have been published, we performed fluorescence in situ hybridization on 25 additional cases of low-grade astrocytomas in children using pericentromeric probes for chromosomes 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, and 17. Six of 18 (excluding the two index cases), or one third, of the pilocytic astrocytomas were characterized by chromosomal gains, most commonly chromosomes 7 and 8, suggesting that trisomy 7 and 8 are relatively common events in the tumorigenesis of pilocytic astrocytomas. In contrast, chromosomal trisomies were not detected in seven well-differentiated fibrillary astrocytomas with any of the probes chosen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-986
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • astrocytoma
  • cytogenetics
  • fluorescence in situ hybridization


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