Rosenthal fiber

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Rosenthal fibers.
H&E staining showing these elongated eosinophilic structures in a case of pilocytic astrocytoma. Magnification 400x

A Rosenthal fiber is a thick, elongated, worm-like or "corkscrew" eosinophilic (pink) bundle that is found on H&E staining of the brain in the presence of long-standing gliosis, occasional tumors, and some metabolic disorders.

Associated conditions[edit]

Its presence is associated with either pilocytic astrocytoma[1] (more common) or Alexander's disease (a rare leukodystrophy). They are also seen in the context of fucosidosis.

Pilocytic astrocytoma is the most common primitive tumor in pediatric patients.


The fibers are found in astrocytic processes and are thought to be clumped intermediate filament proteins.

Their components include glial fibrillary acidic protein.[2]


  1. ^ Wippold FJ, Perry A, Lennerz J (May 2006). "Neuropathology for the neuroradiologist: Rosenthal fibers". AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 27 (5): 958–61. PMID 16687524. 
  2. ^ Tanaka KF, Ochi N, Hayashi T, Ikeda E, Ikenaka K (October 2006). "Fluoro-Jade: new fluorescent marker of Rosenthal fibers". Neurosci. Lett. 407 (2): 127–30. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2006.08.014. PMID 16949206. 

External links[edit]