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Child's Nervous System

, 24:1447 | Cite as

Outcome of children with low-grade cerebellar astrocytoma: long-term complications and quality of life

  • Tycho J. Zuzak
  • Andrea Poretti
  • Barbara Drexel
  • Daniel Zehnder
  • Eugen Boltshauser
  • Michael A. Grotzer
Original Paper

Abstract

Objects

To study the long-term outcome of surgically treated low-grade cerebellar astrocytomas in children.

Materials and methods

We followed 31 consecutive patients under 16 years of age who were diagnosed between 1980 and 2005 in a single institution. In 21 of 31 survivors (median follow-up time 7.9 years; range 5.6–27.4 years) who agreed to participate, tumor control, neurological and cognitive complications, and their impact on behavioral and emotional adjustment and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were comprehensively assessed qualitatively and quantitatively.

Results

Neurological sequelae were found in 43%. However, age-appropriate ability to perform daily life activities was normal in all patients. Remarkably, cognitive deficits leading to significant school problems occurred in 19% and behavioral and emotional adjustment disturbances in 27%. In comparison with healthy controls, the survivors rated their HRQoL similarly or even higher.

Conclusion

Childhood low-grade cerebellar astrocytomas have an excellent cure rate by tumor surgery alone. When compared with other pediatric brain tumors, the risk of neurological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral complications is relatively small. HRQoL is similar to that of healthy controls.

Keywords

Brain neoplasm Child Astrocytoma Outcome assessment Quality of life 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tycho J. Zuzak
    • 1
  • Andrea Poretti
    • 2
  • Barbara Drexel
    • 1
  • Daniel Zehnder
    • 3
  • Eugen Boltshauser
    • 2
  • Michael A. Grotzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of OncologyUniversity Children’s Hospital of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Division of NeurologyUniversity Children’s Hospital of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Division of Psychosomatics and PsychiatryUniversity Children’s Hospital of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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