UBC Faculty Research and Publications

From Theory to Practice : Implementing the WHO 2021 Classification of Adult Diffuse Gliomas in Neuropathology Diagnosis Martin, Karina Chornenka; Ma, Crystal; Yip, Stephen


Diffuse gliomas are the most common type of primary central nervous system (CNS) neoplasm to affect the adult population. The diagnosis of adult diffuse gliomas is dependent upon the integration of morphological features of the tumour with its underlying molecular alterations, and the integrative diagnosis has become of increased importance in the fifth edition of the WHO classification of CNS neoplasms (WHO CNS5). The three major diagnostic entities of adult diffuse gliomas are as follows: (1) astrocytoma, IDH-mutant; (2) oligodendroglioma, IDH-mutant and 1p/19q-codeleted; and (3) glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype. The aim of this review is to summarize the pathophysiology, pathology, molecular characteristics, and major diagnostic updates encountered in WHO CNS5 of adult diffuse gliomas. Finally, the application of implementing the necessary molecular tests for diagnostic workup of these entities in the pathology laboratory setting is discussed.

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