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Unusual Evolution and Computerized Tomographic Appearance of a Gliosarcoma

     Mark C. Preul, Jose A. Espinosa, Donatella Tampieri and Stirling Carpenter

Abstract:   A patient with a remote infarct, seizures, mild hemiparesis, and dysphasia became obtunded over four months and died. Computerized tomography (CT) over 5 years showed a consistent, large, wedge-shaped left hemisphere hypodensity with a central calcification, but without signs of mass effect. This was interpreted as an infarct of the left middle cerebral artery territory. Post-mortem examination of the brain revealed the entire area appearing as infarct on CT was a gliosarcoma. We suspect that the unusual CT appearance of the lesion was likely caused by multiple pathologies: a low grade glioma transforming into a gliosarcoma that was able to spread throughout the area of infarct encephalomalacia without revealing a typical CT appearance of mass effect. The patient's brief period of deterioration probably coincided with transformation of the tumor into a gliosarcoma. The variable CT characteristics of gliosarcomas are reviewed.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1994; 21: 141-145


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