Posterior Fossa Tumor in Children
Iranian Journal of Child Neurology,
Vol. 6 No. 2 (2012),
30 June 2012
How to Cite this Article: Tabatabaei SM, Seddighi A, Seddighi AS. Posterior Fossa Tumor in Children. Iran. J. Child. Neurol 2012;6(2): 19-24.
Primary brain tumors are the most common solid neoplasms of childhood, representing 20% of all pediatric tumors. The best current estimates place the incidence between 2.76 and 4.28/100,000 children per year. Compared with brain tumors in adults, a much higher percentage of pediatric brain tumors arise in the posterior fossa. Infratentorial tumors comprise as many as two thirds of all pediatric brain tumors in some large series. Tumor types that most often occur in the posterior fossa include medulloblastoma, ependymoma, cerebellar astrocytoma and brainstem glioma.
Materials & Methods
All pediatric cases of posterior fossa tumor that were considered for surgery from 1981 to 2011 were selected and the demographic data including age, gender and tumor characteristics along with the location and pathological diagnosis were recorded. The surgical outcomes were assessed according to pathological diagnosis.
Our series consisted of 84 patients (52 males, 32 females). Cerebellar symptoms were the most common cause of presentation (80.9%) followed by headache (73.8%) and vomiting (38.1%). The most common histology was medulloblastoma (42.8%) followed by cerebellar astrocytoma (28.6%), ependymoma (14.3%), brainstem glioma (7.2%) and miscellaneous pathologies (e.g., dermoid, andtuberculoma) (7.2%).
The diagnosis of brain tumors in the general pediatric population remains challenging. Most symptomatic children require several visits to a physician before the correct diagnosis is made. These patients are often misdiagnosed for gastrointestinal disorders. Greater understanding of the clinical presentation of these tumors and judicious use of modern neuroimaging techniques should lead to more efficacious therapies.
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