Case management of hydrocephalus associated with the progression of childhood brain stem gliomas

Toshiyuki Amano, Takanori Inamura, Akira Nakamizo, Satoshi Inoha, Chun Ming Wu, Kiyonobu Ikezaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Object: Most patients diagnosed with brain stem glioma become bedridden because of deteriorating brain stem function. Many brain stem glioma patients develop hydrocephalus. Both of these outcomes greatly detract from the quality of life of these patients. We have analyzed the occurrence of hydrocephalus in diffuse brain stem gliomas in children, and we discuss the management of advanced cases. Methods: Eighteen patients diagnosed with brain stem glioma while under 15 years of age, including 1 with dissemination, were studied retrospectively. The average over-all survival was 11.8±6.5 months (mean±SD). Hydrocephalus occurred in 16 (88.9%) of the 18 cases. The patients diagnosed with hydrocephalus all exhibited a rapid decline in consciousness. The average time to onset of hydrocephalus after tumor diagnosis was 5.1±3.3 months. Twelve of the 16 patients with hydrocephalus were treated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion, by means of a Torkildsen shunt, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, or third ventriculostomy. The level of consciousness and patient performance status improved after CSF diversion except in 2 patients who had received Torkildsen shunts. The patients treated for hydrocephalus survived significantly longer than those patients who did not undergo any intervention for hydrocephalus. CSF diversion may be a therapeutic intervention that significantly improves the quality of life and survival of patients. Conclusion: Our results suggest that patients diagnosed with brain stem glioma should be closely monitored for signs of hydrocephalus and be examined by neuroimaging rapidly when indicated. Our results also suggest that once hydrocephalus is diagnosed CSF diversion should be performed promptly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-604
Number of pages6
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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