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Pediatric brainstem glioma

Hatim Ghita, Chekrine Tarik, Houjami Majdouline, Boughafour Mouna, Bouchbika Zineb, Benchakroun Nadia, Jouhadi Hassan, Tawfiq Nezha, Benider Abdelatif, Sahraoui Souha

Abstract: Background and objectives: Brainstem gliomas are tumors of the central nervous system which have varying presentations and clinical courses. This study aims to analyze the frequency, clinical and therapeutic aspects of brainstem glioma. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data from the record of the patients treated for brainstem glioma under the age of 20 between January 2007 and July 2020 in the Radiation Oncology department of the Ibn Rochd UHC. Results: There were fifteen patients (10 males and 5 females). The mean age of onset was 12 years (range 8 - 14 years). The duration of symptoms varied from 1 month to 2 years. Nine of the patients had intracranial hypertension due to hydrocephalus, six had cranial nerve deficits at presentation, and five patients had cerebellar signs. The lesion was pontine in 12 cases. None of the patients had a tumoral resection, nine had a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt insertion for the hydrocephalus and three had a Stereotactic biopsy that revealed one astrocytoma grade 1, one low grade glioma and one glioblastoma. The radiotherapy was indicated in all the cases but only nine patients had a 3D radiotherapy with a total dose of 54 Gy. Three patients received chemotherapy. Six patients are still alive, two are lost to follow up and seven patients are dead with a mean survival period of 8 months. Conclusion: Brainstem glioma is a devastating disease with a bad prognosis. The clinical presentation is variable and the management is multidisciplinary. Our study illustrates the importance of treatment by radiation.
Keywords: brainstem glioma / grade / radiotherapy / hydrocephalus / tumors / survival / treatment / clinical presentation

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