Oligodendroglioma tumors are generally soft and grayish-pink. Oligodendrogliomas come from oligodendrocytes, one of the types of cells that make up the brain’s glial or supportive tissue. They often contain areas of hemorrhage, calcifications (mineral deposits) and/or cysts. When viewed under the microscope, these tumor cells appear to have a fried-egg shape or short arms. They can be grade II (low-grade), grade III or anaplastic (high-grade).

Although the frontal and temporal lobes are the most common locations for oligodendrogliomas, they can be found anywhere within the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.

At times oligodendrogliomas are mixed with other cell types. Using a grading system of A to D, these tumors may be graded, based on microscopic features of the individual tumor cells. The grade indicates how aggressive the tumor is and how quickly the cells reproduce.

Oligodendroglioma Symptoms

Because of their slow growth, oligodendrogliomas can be present for years before being diagnosed. The most common oligodendroglioma symptoms are:

  • Headaches
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures

Tumors of the frontal lobe may cause:

  • Difficulty with short-term memory
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Weakness on one side of the body

Temporal lobe tumors are usually silent and cause few symptoms other than perhaps language problems or seizures. Other symptoms vary, based upon the size and location of the tumor.

Getting Diagnosed

Our team of specialists provides the most up-to-date evaluations using the latest diagnostic and imaging technology.

We work very closely with the departments of Neurosurgery, Interventional Neuroradiology, Neurology and Radiation Oncology, as well as the Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center and Skull Base Center to ensure an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment for the best outcome.


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The Neuroscience Institute

We are dedicated to the world-class diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases and disorders.