Cytokeratin expression in a congenital multipotential primitive neuroectodermal tumor

C. Zimmer, J. Figols, S. Patt, J. Cervos-Navarro

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2 Scopus citations


A case of an uncommon congenital primitive neuroectodermal cerebellar tumor (PNET) in a 5-month-old child is reported. After subtotal surgical resection, the residual tumor did not respond to radiation and chemotherapy. Histologically, the tumor was composed of small, round, undifferentiated cells and several other patterns like astrocytomatous, oligodendrogliomatous, and ependymomatous structures. Immunostaining was positive for most of the cells for vimentin and S 100, fewer were positive for glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) and neuron-specific enolase, and only a few for synaptophysin. Surprisingly, the tumor showed strong expression of several monoclonal cytokeratins (CK) with different molecular weights, together with epithelial membrane antigen. Furthermore, we found a coexpression of the tumor cells for CK and vimentin, while CK-GFAP and CK-S 100 were negative. Ultrastructurally, intracyto-plasmic intermediate filaments could be observed corresponding to immunohistochemical CK expression. The very strong CK and vimentin expression in this case was interpreted as a sign of the embryonic nature of the tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokeratin expression
  • Keratin filaments
  • Multipotential differentiation
  • PNET


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