Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is a low-grade astrocytic tumor arising predominantly during the first two decades of life. Hemorrhagic onset of PAs is uncommon, and the etiology of hemorrhage remains unclear. Here we report a case of hemorrhagic onset of cerebellar PA in a 29-year-old man who presented with a week-long history of headache and gait instability. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a hemorrhagic tumor located in the right cerebellar hemisphere, and total resection was performed. Histological examination showed bipolar glial cell proliferation in a biphasic pattern in a compact area and a loose microcystic area with Rosenthal fibers and eosinophilic granular bodies, indicating PA. Prominent changes in tumor vasculature, including aggregation of sclerotic thick-walled and ectatic thin-walled vessels, was observed, and nodules of thrombi containing complex vascular proliferation suggesting recanalized thrombi formed in partially ruptured vessels were also found. Thus, rupture of these abnormal vessels appeared to be the cause of hemorrhage. Review of the literature revealed that age distribution of patients with hemorrhagic PAs tends to be older than that of patients with general PAs. These findings imply a possibility that degenerative changes in blood vessels in long-standing PAs might be related to the mechanisms of spontaneous intratumoral hemorrhage.
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