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Glioblastoma multiforme
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Glioblastoma multiforme

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Contributors: Andrea Wasilewski MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
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Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common primary malignant brain tumor in adults. This glial tumor is aggressive and grows quickly, invading surrounding brain tissue. Patients may present with severe persistent headaches, nausea / vomiting, seizures, memory or language impairment, or personality changes. There may also be focal deficits, such as hemiparesis, depending on the location of the tumor. Age of onset is usually 45-70 years old.

Prognosis is poor, and median survival is about 15-18 months with treatment and 3-5 months without treatment.


C71.9 – Malignant neoplasm of brain, unspecified

276828006  – Glioblastoma Multiforme of Brain

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Central nervous system lymphoma (see also lymphomatous meningitis)
  • Metastasis
  • Brain abscess
  • Radiation necrosis (in patients with prior brain irradiation)
  • Tumefaction demyelinating lesion (will often be accompanied by other evidence of demyelination)
  • Neurocysticercosis (may be multiple)
  • Tuberculoma (see tuberculosis)
  • Subacute stroke (will often have less surrounding edema)

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Management Pearls

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Last Updated: 03/23/2018
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Glioblastoma multiforme
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Glioblastoma multiforme : Seizures, Headache, Focal neurologic deficit
Imaging Studies image of Glioblastoma multiforme
T2 weighted axial MRI demonstrating left-sided glioblastoma multiforme.
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