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Neural Tumours

Pathology of Heterotopic Glial Nodules

Dr Sampurna Roy MD                





Syn: Nasal Glioma ; Glial Heterotopias.

Nasal gliomas or heterotopia are nonhereditary congenital malformations composed of heterotopic neuroglial tissue.

Encephaloceles and glial heterotopias are related tumour-like lesions.

Encephaloceles are usually associated with bony defects unlike glial heterotopias.


Occur in the subcutaneous tissue (60%) or may be intranasal in location (30%).

Both external and intranasal components may be present.

Rarely may occur on the scalp, either as multiple subcutaneous nodules or as a single midline parietal nodule.

Clinical presentation:

The lesion presents as reddish blue, firm nodule on the bridge of nose, usually at birth or in early infancy.


Unencapsulated, multilobulated lesion composed of islands of neural and fibrovascular tissue.

The neural tissue is composed of astrocytes set in a neurofibrillary stroma.

Neurons are usually absent.

Old cases show prominent stromal sclerosis.

Some cases show cystic change and rarely focal calcification.


Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), S-100 protein and vimentin : Positive
The nodules do not contain meningeal covering (EMA is negative).

Complete surgical excision of nasal glial heterotopias is curative


Further reading:

Nasal glial heterotopia: embryological and clinical approaches.

Both nasal cerebral heterotopia and encephalocele in the same patient.

Heterotopic neural nodules of the scalp.

Nasal glioma.

Nasal glioma and encephalocele

"Nasal gliomas" and related brain heterotopias: a pathologist's perspective:

Nasal glial heterotopia: a clinicopathologic and immunophenotypic analysis of 10 cases with a review of the literature.

Nasal glioma or nasal glial heterotopia? Morphological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study of two cases.

Glial heterotopia in the subcutaneous tissue overlying T-12.

Nasal glioma: an immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study.

Prenatal diagnosis of a nasal glioma in the mid trimester




Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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