Arterial spin labeling perfusion changes of the frontal lobes in children with posterior fossa syndrome

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OBJECTIVE

Posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) is a common complication following the resection of posterior fossa tumors in children. The pathophysiology of PFS remains incompletely elucidated; however, the wide-ranging symptoms of PFS suggest the possibility of widespread cortical dysfunction. In this study, the authors utilized arterial spin labeling (ASL), an MR perfusion modality that provides quantitative measurements of cerebral blood flow without the use of intravenous contrast, to assess cortical blood flow in patients with PFS.

METHODS

A database of medulloblastoma treated at the authors’ institution from 2004 to 2016 was retrospectively reviewed, and 14 patients with PFS were identified. Immediate postoperative ASL for patients with PFS and medulloblastoma patients who did not develop PFS were compared. Additionally, in patients with PFS, ASL following the return of speech was compared with immediate postoperative ASL.

RESULTS

On immediate postoperative ASL, patients who subsequently developed PFS had statistically significant decreases in right frontal lobe perfusion and a trend toward decreased perfusion in the left frontal lobe compared with controls. Patients with PFS had statistically significant increases in bilateral frontal lobe perfusion after the resolution of symptoms compared with their immediate postoperative imaging findings.

CONCLUSIONS

ASL perfusion imaging identifies decreased frontal lobe blood flow as a strong physiological correlate of PFS that is consistent with the symptomatology of PFS. This is the first study to demonstrate that decreases in frontal lobe perfusion are present in the immediate postoperative period and resolve with the resolution of symptoms, suggesting a physiological explanation for the transient symptoms of PFS.

ABBREVIATIONS ASL = arterial spin labeling; CBF = cerebral blood flow; PFS = posterior fossa syndrome; ROI = region of interest.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Correspondence Kristen W. Yeom: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA. kyeom@stanford.edu.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online August 2, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.5.PEDS18452.Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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