Nonperioperative strokes in children with central nervous system tumors

Daniel C. Bowers, Arlynn F. Mulne, Joan S. Reisch, Roy D. Elterman, Louis Munoz, Timothy Booth, Kenneth Shapiro, Deborah L. Doxey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Nonperioperative strokes are rare yet potentially devastating events for children with central nervous system (CNS) tumors. The incidence of and risk factors for nonperioperative strokes in children with CNS tumors is unknown. METHODS. The authors performed a retrospective review of children from their institution with CNS tumors. The incidence of stroke in the nonperioperative period and the influence of patient demographic factors, coexisting genetic diseases, tumor type, and treatment modality on the subsequent occurrence of a stroke were determined. RESULTS. Eight hundred seven consecutive patients from the authors' institution with CNS tumors were observed for a combined 3224 nonperioperative years. Thirteen patients (1.6%) had a nonperioperative stroke, for an incidence of 4.03 strokes/1000 years of nonperioperative patient follow-up. Eight patients were males, and the median age at diagnosis of a CNS tumor was 4.8 years (range, 0.3-18.6 years). The median duration from diagnosis of a CNS tumor until the occurrence of stroke was 2.3 years (range, 0.3-15.8 years). Among numerous potential risk factors individually examined by chi-square analysis, only treatment with radiation therapy was associated with the subsequent development of a stroke (chi-square, P = 0.007). By logistic regression analysis, treatment with radiation therapy and a diagnosis of an optic pathway glioma were the only statistically significant variables associated with a stroke. CONCLUSIONS. Strokes are much more common among children with CNS tumors. Children treated with radiation therapy and those with optic pathway gliomas have a higher association with the occurrence of a subsequent nonperioperative stroke. Because children with optic pathway gliomas may be at particularly high risk of stroke after radiation therapy, the desired beneficial therapeutic effects of irradiation must always be weighed against its potentially adverse effects, including stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1101
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2002


  • Brain tumors
  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Late effects
  • Optic pathway gliomas
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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