Primary intraorbital extraocular primitive neuroectodermal ...bjo.bmj.com/content/bjophthalmol/70/7/543.full.pdfneuroectodermal(neuroepithelial) tumour ... Theneurogliawasidentified

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  • British Journal of Ophthalmology, 1986, 70, 543-548

    Primary intraorbital extraocular primitiveneuroectodermal (neuroepithelial) tumourSAMRUAY SHUANGSHOTI,' WIT MENAKANIT,2 WITIT CHANGWAIVIT,3 ANDNITAYA SUWANWELA4

    From the 'Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok; the2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai; the 'Department ofRadiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai; and the 4Department of Radiology,Faculty ofMedicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

    SUMMARY A case is reported of primary primitive neuroectodermal (neuroepithelial) tumouroccurring in the right orbit of a 52-year-old man. The intraorbital extraocular location is unique forthis kind of neoplasm. The malignant tumour was differentiated into primitive neuroepithelial,ependymal, and oligodendroglial cells. The neuroglia was identified by localisation of cytoplasmicglial fibrillary acidic protein. It is suggested that this primary intraorbital, extraocular, primitiveneuroectodermal tumour with neuroglial differentiation is akin to the primitive neuroectodermaltumours of the neuraxis, including the cerebellar medulloblastomas, and to some peripheral nervetumours known as malignant neuroepitheliomas, malignant ependymomas, and neuroblastomas.The ectomesenchymal remnant of the neural crest or ectopic neuroepithelium or both may havebeen the origin of the present tumour. Differentiation of the neuroectodermal component of theneural crest or heterotopic neuroepithelium or both would create a primitive neuroectodermaltumour with diverse neuroglial elements.

    Primitive neuroectodermal tumours of the neuraxis '-3and peripheral nerves45 have been described. How-ever, we are unable to trace a report of the same typeof tumour arising primarily within the orbit butoutside the eyeball. In this communication we de-scribe a primary intraorbital, extraocular, primitiveneuroectodermal tumour occurring in an adult man.

    Case report

    A 52-year-old man was admitted to hospital becauseof progressive right exophthalmos for one month. Hedenied ocular pain, blurred vision, diplopia, andother systemic symptoms.

    Physical examination revealed a body temperatureof 370C, pulse rate 85 beats/min, respiratory rate20/min, and blood pressure 150/90 mmHg. The righteye showed mild oedema of the eyelids and prop-tosis. Each pupil, 3 mm in diameter, was reactive tolight. Ocular movements were bilaterally full in alldirections. The fundi showed constriction of the

    Correspondence to Professor Samruay Shuangshoti, Department ofPathology, Chulalongkorn Hospital, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.

    arterioles. No papilloedema or intraocular tumourwas observed. Cranial nerves, visual field, and visualacuity were normal, as were other systems of thebody and various laboratory tests. No abnormalmasses were detected in any part of his body.Computerised tomographic (CT) scans of the

    orbits and brain disclosed a right enlarging intra-orbital tumour located laterally. The right eyeballand optic nerve were displaced medially (Figs. 1, 2).No intracranial lesions were seen.The patient underwent Kronlein's operation three

    weeks after admission to hospital. The outer wall ofthe right orbit was resected. The laterally situatedintraorbital extraocular tumour was found to beunencapsulated and attached to the lateral rectusmuscle. There was no bone invasion. The lesionwas removed as much as possible. No connectionbetween the tumour and any nerve was observed. Itappeared clinically to be a neoplasm of the lacrimalgland.

    PATHOLOGICAL EXAMINATIONThe formalin-fixed tissue fragment was white, firm,and 3-5 x 4-0 x 4-0 cm. It was embedded in paraffin

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  • Samruay Shuangshoti, Wit Menakanit, Witit Changwaivit, and Nitaya Suwanwela

    Fig. 2 Axial cut at the level ofthe optic nerves demonstratesa mass invading into the right lateral rectus muscle (thickarrow). Note also medial displacement ofthe right opticnerve (thin arrow) and mildproptosis ofthe right eyeball.

    and sections were stained with haematoxylin andeosin (H-E). The following special stains weredone: Mallory's phosphotungstic acid haematoxylin(PTAH) for neuroglial fibres, Gomori's stain forreticulin fibres, and Nissl's stain for neuronal tigroidsubstance.The peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique was ap-

    Fig. l A, B Axialand coronal CTscans oftheorbitsshow plied for immunohistochemical localisation of glialan infiltrative soft tissue mass in the superolateralpart ofthe fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in formalin-fixed andright orbit (left arrows) with pressure effecton the lateral wall paraffin-embedded tissue sections. A fragment of the(rightarrows). normal brain was similarly processed as a control.

    Fig. 3 Microscopicfeatures oftumour. A: Numerous smallneoplastic cells in lobules and in nodefinite pattern ofarrangement areshown (H-E, x 32). B: HomerWright's rosettes areformed byprimitive neuroepithelial tumourcells. Note tangles ofcellularprocesses within the centre ofrosettes (H-E, x65)..

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  • Primary intraorbital extraocularprimitive neuroectodermal (neuroepithelial) tumour

    Microscopically, plentiful neoplastic cells of diver-gent types were found in lobules and in randomdistribution (Fig. 3A). Many small ovoid or carrot-shaped tumour cells with hyperchromatic nucleirimmed by scant cytoplasm and hair-like cytoplasmicpolar processes were often arrayed in rosettes thatcontained central tangles of these processes, repre-senting Homer Wright's rosettes (Fig. 3B). Theseneoplastic cells were regarded as primitive (undiffer-entiated) neuroepithelial cells which resembled bothneuroblasts and medulloblasts.

    Several epithelium-like tumour cells had round toovoid vesicular nuclei which were rimmed by homo-geneous cytoplasm. Some had blue processes inPTAH preparations. They were occasionally arrangedin true rosettes with central canals (Fig. 4A) andperivascular pseudorosettes characterised by attach-ment of the cellular processes to the vascular walls(Fig. 4B). These two patterns of the neoplasm wereregarded as formed by ependymal cells.A moderate number of the tumour cells had well

    defined outlines, distinctly clear perikaryon, andsmall dark nuclei giving a fried-egg appearance. Theywere interpreted as oligodendroglia (Figs. 4B, 5A).Neurons were not detected in Nissl's preparations.A small number of widely scattered rounded

    tumour cells contained cytoplasmic GFAP and wereregarded as neuroglia. Some had small dark nucleisurrounded by moderate amount of cytoplasm; theywere interpreted as oligodendroglia (Fig. SB).Others had large hyperchromatic nuclei rimmedby scant perikaryon; they were regarded as undiffer-

    entiated neuroglia (Fig. SC). Similar GFAP-positiveneuroglia, particularly astrocytes, were also seen inthe fragment of normal brain serving as a control.

    Reticulin fibres were few in some parts of thetumour but were numerous elsewhere (Fig. 6). Thiswas also true for collagen fibres.The pathological diagnosis was primary intra-

    orbital, extraocular, primitive neuroectodermaltumour showing neuroglial differentiation and pro-ducing right proptosis.

    POSTOPERATIVE COURSEThe patient received a course of radiotherapy total-ling 5200 rad to the operative field over 11/2 months.At the end of the radiotherapeutic course his visionwas normal, as it was before the surgical intervention.The proptosis had improved, and the general con-dition was satisfactory. He was well when he was seenagain 6 months later.

    Discussion

    The primitive neuroectodermal tumour is defined asa malignant neoplasm arising from primitive (stemcell) neuroepithelium which is capable of differen-tiating into various derivatives within the neuronaland neuroglial lines. Pathologically, Homer Wright'srosettes formed by primitive neuroepithelial cells arepresent. True rosettes and perivascular pseudo-rosettes may be present. The tumour may show aprominent mesenchymal component. ' I

    Fig. 4 Ependymal andoligodendroglial differentiation oftumour. A: A true rosetteformedby radially arranged ependymaltumour cells round central canal isshown (H-E, x 253). B: Aperivascularpseudorosetteconsisting ofcentral blood vesselwith processes ofependymaltumour cells attached to its wall isshown. Some rounded neoplasticcells having distinctly clearperikaryon roundsmall nuclei togivefried-egg appearance, as in acluster at the right lower corner ofthephotomicrograph, areconsidered to be oligodendroglia(H-E, x 63).

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  • Samruay Shuangshoti, Wit Menakanit, Witit Changwaivit, and Nitaya Suwanwela

    Fig.5 Oligodendroglial differentiation and resultofimmunohistochemicalstudy. A: Many oligodendroglia with fried-eggappearance are shown (H-E, x 100). B: A GFA P-positive tumour cell interpreted as oligodendrocyte (arrow) isdemonstrated (GFA Pstain, x 1000). C: A neoplastic cell having large hyperchromatic nucleus surrounded by scantGFA P-positive perikaryon regarded as undifferentiated neuroglial cell (arrow) is present among other undifferentiatedtumourcells (GFAPstain, x 1000).

    The intraorbital extraocular neoplasm describedhere fulfils these