We present 19 patients with tuberous sclerosis complex and subependymal giant cell astrocytoma. The mean age at the time of tumor diagnosis was 9.4 years (range, 1.5 to 21 years). Computed cranial tomography (CT) or cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) identified the lesion which was resected in all cases. Seven patients had hydrocephalus and there was an interval increase in the tumor size or a large tumor without hydrocephalus in 12 patients. Surgical criteria included: (1) presence of hydrocephalus; (2) interval increase in tumor size; (3) new focal neurologic deficit attributable to the tumor, and/or (4) symptoms of increased intracranial pressure. Eight patients were identified through a surveillance program involving annual computed cranial tomography. All of these eight patients had their tumor removed prior to the development of symptoms, none had neurologic deficits which persisted after surgery, and none has so far developed recurrent subependymal giant cell astrocytoma. In contrast, of the 11 patients from the non-surveillance group 7 were symptomatic at tumor diagnosis, 1 had a complicated postoperative course, 2 developed recurrent giant cell astrocytoma, and 1 had an extensive lesion that could not be completely excised. Periodic cranial imaging may help to identify subependymal giant cell astrocytomas in tuberous sclerosis patients before they become symptomatic. Earlier diagnosis and treatment could reduce surgical morbidity and the risk of tumor recurrence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology