Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of central nervous system tumors in children
- Ching Lau, MD, PhD
Ching Lau, MD, PhD
- Chief, Hematology Oncology at Connecticut Children's Medical Center
- Professor at Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine
- Head of Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
- Wan-Yee Teo, MBBS, FAAP, MRCPCH (UK), PhD
Wan-Yee Teo, MBBS, FAAP, MRCPCH (UK), PhD
- Assistant Professor
- Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Central nervous system (CNS) tumors include both nonmalignant and malignant tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Primary malignant CNS tumors are the second most common childhood malignancies, after hematologic malignancies, and are the most common pediatric solid organ tumor . They are the leading cause of death from childhood cancer, surpassing the mortality rate of acute lymphoblastic leukemia .
A general overview on the clinical manifestations and diagnosis of CNS tumors in children will be reviewed here. The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of the following specific CNS tumors that occur in children are discussed separately.
●Low-grade gliomas (see "Classification and pathologic diagnosis of gliomas")
●Malignant gliomas (see "Clinical manifestations and initial surgical approach to patients with high-grade gliomas")
●Medulloblastoma (see "Histopathology and molecular pathogenesis of medulloblastoma")
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- CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS
- Age of the patient
- Tumor location
- Common presenting signs and symptoms
- - Headache
- - Nausea and vomiting
- - Ataxia and gait abnormalities
- - Cranial nerve palsies
- - Impaired vision
- - Seizures
- - Papilledema
- - Macrocephaly
- - Developmental delay and behavioral changes
- - Endocrinopathies
- Neurocutaneous syndromes
- Congenital CNS tumors
- Spinal tumors
- - Indications
- - Choice of modality
- MRI imaging
- Positron emission tomography scans
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- Diagnostic pitfalls
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS