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Histological Types of Brain Tumors

The 2000 revision of the WHO classification of tumors of the nervous system dropped the terms glial and non-glial as major categories. Instead, tumors are grouped by their tissue of origin. The majority of tumors arise in neuroepithelial tissue, the largest category, that includes astrocytomas and ependymomas. Listed following are the major categories of brain tumor based on WHO classification:

  • Tumors of neuroepithelial tissue.
  • Tumors of peripheral nerves.
  • Tumors of meninges.
  • Tumors of sellar region.
  • Germ cell tumors.
  • Lymphomas.
  • Metastatic tumors.

The following table shows some of the brain tumors categoried by their histological types.

Neuroepithelial Type
Histological Type ICD-O Codes
Astrocytic Pilocytic (juvenile) astrocytoma M-9421/3
Well-diff. low grade astrocytoma M-9400/3
Anaplastic astrocytoma M-9401/3
Glioblastoma multiforme M-9440/3
Ependymoma M-9391/3
Choroid plexus papilloma M-9390/3
Oligodendroglioma M-9450/3
Mixed gliomas M-9382/3
Medulloblastoma M-9470/3
Anaplastic anglioglioma M-9505/3
Pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate diff. M-9362/3
Non-neuroepithelial Type
Histological Type ICD-O Codes
Craniopharyngioma M-9350/1
Meningioma M-9539/3
Schwannoma M-9560/3
Lymphoma M-9590/3

Various types of brain tumors can arise in various places in the central nervous system. The image below shows most of those sites and their histologies.