Oncocytoma in melanocytoma of the spinal cord: Case report

Benjamin B. Gelman, Todd T. Trier, Greg Chaljub, Joanna Borokowski, Haring J.W. Nauta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: Oncocytoma in the central nervous system is extremely unusual. The first reported example of oncocytoma in a melanocytoma of the spinal cord was successfully excised, and its pathological appearance is described. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 71-year-old woman presented with a 25-year history of back pain and myelographic evidence of a lumbar spinal cord mass. After declining surgical treatment for two decades, she elected eventually to have the mass excised. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large intraspinal mass that spanned spinal levels L3 through 51. TECHNIQUE: The mass was excised en bloc through posterior laminectomies, and histopathological analysis revealed a benign neoplasm composed predominantly of monotonous sheets of plump oncocytes. Electron microscopy confirmed that the cytoplasm of the oncocytes was packed full of mitochondria. Focal areas of the tumor contained spindle cells, with abundant intracytoplasmic granular deposits of brown melanin pigment that contained melanosomes. Positive Fontana-Masson, HMB-45, and S-100 staining confirmed the final diagnosis of melanocytoma, oncocytic variant. CONCLUSION: The first reported case of oncocytoma arising in spinal melanocytoma is described. After surgical excision, the patient recovered completely and has remained free of symptoms for 4 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-759
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Melanocytoma
  • Mitochondria
  • Neural crest
  • Oncocytoma
  • Schwannoma
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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