Quality of survival among children treated for brain stem glioma

Raymond K. Mulhern, Richard L. Heideman, Ziada Khatib, Edward H. Kovnar, Robert A. Sanford, Larry E. Kun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In order to describe the status of long-term survivors of brain stem glioma, neuropsychological and behavioral measures were obtained a median of 2.5 (range 1.5-5.6) years after diagnosis from 16 survivors of 51 consecutively diagnosed children with brain stem glioma between 1983 and 1991. Among 11 children with dorsally exophytic tumors, 7 were treated with surgery alone (SRG) and 4 received conventionally fractionated local cranial radiation therapy (CFRT; 54-56 Gy) to the brain stem following surgery, 3 of these because of recurrent disease. Five others with diffusely infiltrative brain stem tumors received hyperfractionated radiation therapy (HFRT; 70.2 Gy) to the brain stem; 4 following biopsy or limited resection and 1 without prior surgery. IQs of children in the CFRT (mean 89, SD 24.4) and HFRT (mean 85, SD 12.7) groups were not significantly different. Children in the SRG group had significantly higher IQs (mean 100, SD 11.0) and fewer neurologic deficits than those who had received CFRT or HFRT. However, after statistically controlling for severity of neurologic deficits, treatment had no effect on IQ. The severity of residual neurologic deficits accounted for 42% of the variance in IQ scores; children with fewer neurologic problems scored higher. Additional studies are required to evaluate the potential neuropsychological benefits of equivalent total doses of HFRT compared to CFRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


  • Brain stem glioma
  • IQ
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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