Gliomas of the posterior fossa in adults
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Infratentorial gliomas are relatively rare tumors compared to their supratentorial counterparts. As such they have not been extensively characterized as a group and are usually excluded from clinical studies. Using our database we aimed to characterize adult gliomas involving the posterior fossa with respect to their clinical behavior and prognostic factors. We reviewed our neurosurgical and neuro-oncological data bases for adult patients diagnosed with gliomas involving the posterior fossa between 1996 and 2010. Of 1,283 glioma patients, 57 patients with gliomas involving the posterior fossa were identified (4.4 %). Tumors were further classified by location as primary brainstem (n = 21) and primary cerebellar (n = 18) tumors. On univariate analysis survival was correlated to tumor grade and KPS. In addition we have identified a unique group of patients (n = 18) with previously diagnosed supratentorial gliomas who subsequently developed noncontiguous secondary infratentorial extension of their tumors with subsequent rapid clinical deterioration. Gliomas of the posterior fossa comprise a heterogeneous group of tumors. Histological grade of the tumor was found to be the main prognostic factor. Survival of primary cerebellar gliomas is comparable to supra-tentorial gliomas, while brainstem gliomas in adults fare better than in the pediatric population. Secondary extension of supratentorial gliomas to the posterior fossa signifies a grave prognosis.
KeywordsGlioma Posterior fossa Brainstem Cerebellum Secondary extension
Conflict of interest
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