Medline: 1738456

Neurosurgery 30(1): 58-62; discussion 62-63, 1992.

Benign cerebellar astrocytomas of childhood.

Schneider JH Jr, Raffel C, McComb JG


Benign cerebellar astrocytomas of childhood are potentially surgically curable lesions. Histologically, these neoplasms can be divided into pilocytic and diffuse astrocytomas. Whether there is a difference in the recurrence rate between these two tumor types after a surgical resection is not clear. In addition, the role of immediate postoperative imaging in predicting a recurrence has not been established. To answer these questions, we have reviewed the charts of 23 patients with benign cerebellar astrocytomas treated at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles over a 10-year period (1977-1987). Of the 23 tumors, 15 were pilocytic and 8 were diffuse. All patients underwent an attempted gross total surgical removal of the tumor, and all patients had a postoperative computed tomographic (CT) scan with and without intravenously administered contrast material performed within 72 hours of the operation. Based on the postoperative CT scan, 12 patients had residual tumors. Seven of the subtotally resected tumors were pilocytic (7 of 15), and 5 were diffuse (5 of 8). Interestingly, the surgeon believed that a gross total resection had been obtained in 9 of these patients. There have been 4 recurrences in these 23 patients, with a mean follow-up of 4.9 years. All recurrences were in patients with subtotal resections. Of the 11 patients with a total resection of the tumor, 7 developed a small rim of enhancement on subsequent scans an average of 5 months after the operation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Dr. G. Quade