Primary primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the cauda equina.Hum Pathol. 2000 Aug; 31(8):999-1001.HP
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) are aggressive neoplasms composed predominantly of undifferentiated cells that show evidence of neural differentiation. Although their classification has been controversial, PNETs are well recognized primary tumors of both central and peripheral nervous systems. PNETs must be distinguished from other round-cell tumors, including Ewing's sarcoma, lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and small cell carcinoma. Intraspinal PNETs are rare neoplasms that are usually metastatic in origin. We describe the eighth reported primary PNET of the cauda equina that developed in a 52-year-old man with no significant medical history. The tumor was characterized by Homer-Wright rosettes and immunoreactivity for CD99, glial fibrillary acidic protein, neuron-specific enolase S100, and synaptophysin. The anatomic location of primary intrathecal PNETs is important as those arising in the spinal cord develop in the central nervous system, whereas those arising in the cauda equina develop in the peripheral nervous system. The histogenesis of intrathecal PNETs may be multifactorial.