Primary germinoma in the medulla oblongata

Takao Yasuhara, Tomotsugu Ichikawa, Yasuyuki Miyoshi, Kazuhiko Kurozumi, Tomoko Maruo, Hiroyuki Yanai, Isao Date

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A 27-year-old woman presented with a case of primary medulla oblongata germinoma manifesting as sleep apnea, aspiration pneumonia, and left hemiparesis. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging revealed a dorsal mass in the medulla oblongata with heterogeneous enhancement by gadolinium (Gd). Emergent biopsy and foramen magnum decompression with C1 laminectomy were performed because of rapid worsening of her symptoms. The histological diagnosis was germinoma. Subsequently she received chemoradiation therapy with subsequent amelioration of her neurological deficits and disappearance of enhancement on MR imaging with Gd. Primary medulla oblongata germinoma is rare and difficult to diagnose preoperatively. However, correct diagnosis and subsequent adequate chemoradiation therapy is possible by understanding the common characteristics of the disease. Germinoma should be included in the differential diagnosis of midline medullary lesion in young patients, and biopsy should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-329
Number of pages4
Journalneurologia medico-chirurgica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Foramen magnum decompression
  • Germ cell tumor
  • Medulla oblongata
  • Sleep apnea
  • β-human chorionic gonadotropin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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