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Scanning electron microscopy of neoplasms removed at surgery surface topography and comparison of meningioma colloid cyst ependymoma pituitary adenoma schwannoma and astro cytoma


Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 36(6): 875-896
Scanning electron microscopy of neoplasms removed at surgery surface topography and comparison of meningioma colloid cyst ependymoma pituitary adenoma schwannoma and astro cytoma
Twenty-one human neuroectodermal tumors were examined and compared using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) monitored by light (LM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A simplified procedure resulted in 4-8 h total SEM processing time and revealed more surface features than cryofracturing. Examined with SEM, transitional meningiomas displayed distinctive whorls of flat cells with short, broad, tapering processes. Their surface ridges and intercellular connections probably reflect junctional complexes. Colloid cysts contained ciliated and sparsely ciliated or non-ciliated cells in a uniform mixture. The latter cells on TEM had a surface coat of fine, oriented filaments. Long cilia of varied diameter and an internal structure resembling sensory cilia were combined with other features indicating similarities between olfactory and colloid cyst epithelium. Ependymomas possessed spherical cells with numerous microvilli. In some foci long, cylindrical, smooth fibrils extended from these cells and branched frequently. Their surface features differed from nonfibrillar, polyhedral pituitary adenoma cells. Schwannomas displayed a rough, beaded surface on cells and fibrils associated with their basement membrane envelopes. Their fibrils were straighter, less rounded and less frequently branched than glial fibrils. Fibrils of pilocytic astrocytomas were smooth, cylindrical and serpentine. They branched frequently and at wide angles. Their focal expansions were associated with Rosenthal fibers. SEM demonstrated the complex ramifications of neuroectodermal fibrils in greater depth than routine TEM and with more resolution than LM. This study highlights examples in which the SEM surface features which differentiate certain tumors may augment the findings of more conventional diagnostic microscopy.


Accession: 006365704

PMID: 925716



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