SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Contributors: Andrea Wasilewski MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Germinoma is a malignant germ cell tumor arising in the midline, largely in the pineal or suprasellar regions of the central nervous system, characterized by the presence of primitive, large, malignant germ cells and lymphocytes. Germinomas can often cause obstructive hydrocephalus presenting with severe headache, nausea, vomiting, papilledema, and changes in mental status. Other findings include ataxia, fatigue, weight loss, upward gaze paralysis, increased intracranial pressure, and vision loss. Germinomas occur in young patients between the ages of 10 and 20, with males affected more often than females.

Treatment includes surgical resection, radiation, and chemotherapy. Germinomas may reoccur after therapy.


C71.6 – Malignant neoplasm of cerebellum

28307001 – Germinoma

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Rathke cleft cyst
  • Pineocytoma
  • Pineoblastoma
  • Pineal cyst
  • Pineal metastasis
  • Pituitary abscess
  • Meningioma
  • Cavernous hemangioma
  • Lipoma
  • Hamartoma
  • Colloid cyst

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Last Reviewed:03/10/2019
Last Updated:04/19/2021
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A medical illustration showing key findings of Germinoma : Headache, Papilledema, Personality changes, Anorexia, Increased intracranial pressure, Upward gaze paralysis
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.