Medicine

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USMLE Step 1

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Neurological Disorders

Oligodendroglioma

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Oligodendroglioma is a brain tumor derived from oligodendrocytes, a type of glial cell in the central nervous system. These tumors typically occur in adults, and are most often found in the frontal lobes of the brain.

Characteristically, biopsy reveals "fried egg cells", which describe a clear, vacuolar cytoplasm surrounding a round nucleus. This clear appearance is due to the presence of fat in oligodendrocytes, which usually create fatty myelin sheaths surrounding neurons.

Another common pathology finding is "chicken wire capillaries", which describes disorganized blood vessels forming a mesh in the tumor. Oligodendrogliomas often undergo calcification, which causes them to appear hyperdense on CT scans (bright).

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