A management strategy for intraventricular subependymal giant cell astrocytomas in tuberous sclerosis complex

Clinical article

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery,
  • 2 Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and
  • 3 The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York; and
  • 4 Department of Neurology, The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Object

Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) are benign tumors, most commonly associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The vast majority of these tumors arise from the lateral ependymal surface adjacent to the foramen of Monro, therefore potentially encroaching on one or both foramina, and resulting in obstructive hydrocephalus that necessitates surgical decompression. The indications for surgery, intraoperative considerations, and evolution of the authors' management paradigm are presented.

Methods

Patients with TSC who underwent craniotomy for SEGA resection at New York University Langone Medical Center between January 1997 and March 2011 were identified. Preoperative imaging, clinical characteristics, management decisions, operative procedures, and outcomes were reviewed.

Results

Eighteen patients with TSC underwent 22 primary tumor resections for SEGAs. The indication for surgery was meaningful radiographic tumor progression in 16 of 21 cases. The average age at the time of operation was 10.3 years. Average follow-up duration was 52 months (range 12–124 months). The operative approach was intrahemispheric-transcallosal in 16 cases, transcortical-transventricular in 5, and neuroendoscopic in 1. Nine tumors were on the right, 9 on the left, and 3 were bilateral. Gross-total resection was documented in 16 of 22 cases in our series, with radical subtotal resection achieved in 4 cases, and subtotal resection (STR) in 2 cases. Two patients had undergone ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement preoperatively and 7 patients required shunt placement after surgery for moderate to severe ventriculomegaly. Two patients experienced tumor progression requiring reoperation; both of these patients had initially undergone STR.

Conclusions

The authors present their management strategy for TSC patients with SEGAs. Select patients underwent microsurgical resection of SEGAs with acceptable morbidity. Gross-total resection or radical STR was achieved in 90.9% of our series (20 of 22 primary tumor resections), with no recurrences in this group. Approximately half of our patient series required CSF diversionary procedures. There were no instances of permanent neurological morbidity associated with surgery.

Abbreviations used in this paper:EDH = epidural hematoma; GTR = gross-total resection; ICP = intracranial pressure; mTOR = mammalian target of rapamycin; SEGA = subependymal giant cell astrocytoma; STR = subtotal resection; TSC = tuberous sclerosis complex; VPS = ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: David H. Harter, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, New York University Langone Medical Center, 317 E. 34th St., New York, NY 10016. email: david.harter@nyumc.org.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online November 1, 2013; DOI: 10.3171/2013.9.PEDS13193.

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