Background: Cerebral lacunes, which generally appear on magnetic resonance imaging as foci of white matter loss, usually occur in adults after ischemic infarcts. We report the development of lacunes in children after therapy for brain tumors. Patients and Methods: We reviewed the clinical characteristics and radiologic studies of 524 consecutive children with brain tumors treated over a 10-year period. We documented the neuropsychologic findings associated with lacunes and the factors predictive of lacunar development. Results: Lacunes developed in none of the 103 patients observed or treated with surgery alone. Twenty-five of the 421 patients treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy or both had lacunes. Patients were a median of 4.5 years old at the time of both diagnosis (range, 0.3 to 19.8 years) and radiotherapy (range, 1.5 to 20 years). Fourteen patients were treated with craniospinal irradiation, and 11 were treated with local radiotherapy. The median time from radiotherapy to the appearance of lacunes was 2.01 years (range, 0.26 to 5.7 years). For all patients, lacunes were an incidental finding with no corresponding clinical deficit. The factor most predictive of lacunar development was age less than 5 years at the time of radiotherapy (P = .010). There was no significant difference in estimated decline in intelligence quotient scores between patients with lacunes and age and diagnosis-matched controls. Conclusion: Lacunes may be caused by therapy- induced vasculopathy in children with brain tumors, with the most significant predictor being age less than 5 years at the time of radiotherapy. (C) 2000 American Society of Clinical Oncology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research