We discuss the surgical approach used for and outcome in 11 infants (< 3 years) who were treated at our institution for ependymomas arising in the cerebellar-pontine (C-P) angle. The median age of the group was 19 months (range: 6–26 months). Of these 11 patients, the initial surgery for 8 was performed at our center and achieved a gross total resection (GTR) in 4 patients and a subtotal resection (STR) in the remaining 4. The 3 patients who had tumor debulking performed elsewhere were subsequently referred to our institution and had definitive surgery after receiving 3–4 courses of chemotherapy; one of these children had a GTR, whereas the remaining 2 had an STR. During the immediate postoperative period, 9 patients had cranial nerve deficits that necessitated placement of a tracheostomy and a gastrostomy feeding tube; these were discontinued in 6 of the 9 patients as the deficits resolved. The majority of the permanent cranial nerve deficits involved the sixth and seventh cranial nerves. Of the 11 patients, 4 have died (progressive disease, n = 1; accidental death, n = 2; withdrawal of life support, n = 1); the remaining 7 patients are alive, with a median follow-up of 37 months (range: 20–73 months). Aggressive surgical resection for tumors arising in the C-P region is associated with postoperative deficits, which resolve over time with appropriate supportive care. This approach may increase the number of children in whom GTR is achieved, thereby potentially increasing the cure rate for these patients.
- Surgical resection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology