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Open Access Research article

Central nervous system tumors: a single center pathology review of 34,140 cases over 60 years

Liang Chen1, Xiang Zou1, Yin Wang2, Ying Mao1 and Liangfu Zhou1*

  • * Corresponding author: Liangfu Zhou

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 12 Wu Lu Mu Qi Zhong Road, Shanghai, Jing An District, 200040, China

2 Department of Neuropathology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 12 Wu Lu Mu Qi Zhong Road, Shanghai, Jing An District, 200040, China

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BMC Clinical Pathology 2013, 13:14  doi:10.1186/1472-6890-13-14

Published: 2 May 2013



Tumor epidemiology is a significant part of CNS (central nervous system) tumor studies. Reassessment of original sections can update our knowledge of tumor spectrum. Here, we discuss the features of CNS tumor pathology in a single center.


A total of 34140 cases from 1950 to 2009 were collected; sections from 1990 to 2009 were reassessed according to WHO 2007 classification, and cases from 1950 to 1989 were classified according to the previous pathological diagnosis.


Seven CNS tumor categories during 1990 to 2009 were as follow: neuroepithelial tissue (38.0%), tumors of the meninges (36.5%), tumors of the sellar region (4.1%), germ cell tumors (1.3%), tumors of cranial and paraspinal nerves (13.3%), lymphomas and hematopoietic neoplasm (1.7%), metastatic tumors (5.1%), where histological types by age and sex were diverse. Overall, males exceeded females in distributions of most CNS tumor subtypes, while tumors of the meninges occurred more frequently in females. The case number of lymphomas and hematopoietic neoplasms grew the fastest during the past five years, and the distribution of neuroepithelial tumors remained stable over the past twenty years.


Despite the possibilities of cross sample biases, the data in this series could suggest a similar CNS tumor spectrum as might occur in other developing countries.

Central nervous system tumors; Epidemiology; Pathological review; Single center; WHO 2007 classification