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Choroid plexus papilloma

Choroid plexus papillomas (CPP) are benign brain tumors.

These highly vascular tumors retain the physiological function of choroid plexus and thus lead to overproduction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), besides obstructing the CSF pathway.


The overall incidence is less than 1% of all intracranial tumors.

They are predominantly located in the lateral ventricles in children, and in the fourth ventricle in adults.

They occur in the lateral ventricle in most cases, but have also been described in the third or fourth ventricles 1)

Most of these tumors occur in the lateral ventricles in neonates.

Third ventricle location is uncommon, limited to a few case reports.

Tumors of the choroid plexus have been described previously in the fetus 2) 3) 4) 5).

In two cases of choroid plexus papilloma reported at 21 weeks of pregnancy, the diagnosis was suspected because of ventriculomegaly. Both pregnancies were terminated and pathological examination showed bilateral papillomas of the choroid plexus 6).


They are histologically classified as plexus papilloma, atypical plexus papilloma, and plexus carcinoma.

Atypical choroid plexus papilloma.

Choroid plexus papilloma in the posterior fossa.

Extraventricular choroid plexus papilloma.

Fetal choroid plexus tumor


They can correspond to two different etiologies: papilloma, which is a benign tumor, and carcinoma of the choroid plexus.


Imaging is fairly sensitive and specific in affording the diagnosis of this tumor.

On imaging choroid plexus papillomas are characterised by vividly enhancing, usually intraventricular, masses. Hydrocephalus is common.


Unlike most other brain tumours, which are more common in the posterior fossa in children and supratentorial compartment in adults, the relationship is reversed for choroid plexus papillomas:

adults: most often (70%) occur in the fourth ventricle children: most often occur in the lateral ventricles, with a predilection for the trigone Third ventricular, cerebellopontine angle, parenchymal and even pineal region tumours have also been described.


The tumours are usually well-defined lobulated masses, either iso- or somewhat hyperdense compared to the adjacent brain. There is associated hydrocephalus. They usually homogeneously enhance, demonstrating with an irregular frond-like pattern, resulting in a cauliflower-like appearance. If there is markedly heterogeneous contrast enhancement, a choroid plexus carcinoma should be suspected 4.

Fine, speckled calcification is seen within the tumour in approximately 25% of cases 4.


The frond-like morphology of the tumour can usually be seen, especially following contrast administration. Varying degrees of associated hydrocephalus are also present in almost all cases.

T1: typically isointense cf. to adjacent brain; may be somewhat hypointense.

T2 iso to hyperintense

small flow-voids may be seen within the tumour

T1 C+ (Gd): marked enhancement, tends to be homogeneous

MR spectroscopy

decreased NAA

increased Cho 7).

Differential diagnosis

The differential is essentially that of other choroid plexus tumors:

atypical choroid plexus papilloma: indistinguishable, but far less common

choroid plexus carcinoma: can be very difficult on imaging alone almost exclusively found in young children heterogeneous contrast enhancement may show parenchymal invasion

choroid plexus metastases When located in the posterior fossa in children (less common) other tumours to be considered include:

medulloblastoma atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumour (AT/RT)

ependymoma In adults, and depending on location, consider:

ependymoma intraventricular meningioma subependymoma central neurocytoma exophytic glioma

Papillary ependymoma is a rare variant of ependymoma and often gives rise to confusion with choroid plexus papilloma because of topographic, light microscopic and ultrastructural similarities.



Total removal is possible for 96% of papillomas and for 61% of carcinomas. Surgical procedures are associated with significant operative morbidity and mortality due to uncontrolled bleeding. The prognosis is widely variable between the two forms, with a survival rate at 5 years of approximately 100% for papillomas and 40% for carcinomas 8).

Severino M, Schwartz ES, Thurnher MM, Rydland J, Nikas I, Rossi A. Congenital tumors of the central nervous system. Neuroradiology. 2010 Jun;52(6):531-48. doi: 10.1007/s00234-010-0699-0. Epub 2010 Apr 29. PubMed PMID: 20428859.
2) , 6)
Romano F, Bratta FG, Caruso G, Naro ED, Serio R, Resta M, Loizzi P. Prenatal diagnosis of choroid plexus papillomas of the lateral ventricle. A report of two cases. Prenat Diagn. 1996 Jun;16(6):567-71. PubMed PMID: 8809901.
Barber MA, Eguiluz I, Plasencia W, Medina M, Valle L. Intracranial fetal hemorrhage due to choroid plexus papilloma. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 May;105(2):172-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2008.11.041. Epub 2009 Feb 5. PubMed PMID: 19200541.
Adra AM, Mejides AA, Salman FA, Landy HJ, Helfgott AW. Prenatal sonographic diagnosis of a third ventricle choroid plexus papilloma. Prenat Diagn. 1994 Sep;14(9):865-7. PubMed PMID: 7845895.
Cohen ZR, Achiron R, Feldman Z. Prenatal sonographic diagnosis of lateral ventricle choroid plexus papilloma in an in vitro fertilization-induced pregnancy. Pediatr Neurosurg. 2002 Nov;37(5):267-70. PubMed PMID: 12411720.
Pencalet P, Sainte-Rose C, Lellouch-Tubiana A, Kalifa C, Brunelle F, Sgouros S, Meyer P, Cinalli G, Zerah M, Pierre-Kahn A, Renier D. Papillomas and carcinomas of the choroid plexus in children. J Neurosurg. 1998 Mar;88(3):521-8. PubMed PMID: 9488307.
choroid_plexus_papilloma.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/10 20:57 by administrador