A review article assessing all the risk factors reported in the literature for postoperative cerebellar mutism syndrome (pCMS) among children remains absent. The authors sought to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate this issue.
PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were queried to systematically extract potential references. The articles relating to pCMS were required to be written in the English language, involve pediatric patients (≤ 18 years of age), and provide extractable data, which included a comparison group of patients who did not develop pCMS. The quality of the included studies was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Data were pooled using RevMan 5.4, and publication bias was assessed by visual inspection for funnel plot asymmetry. The study protocol was registered through PROSPERO (ID: CRD42021256177).
Overall, 28 studies involving 2276 patients were included. Statistically significant risk factors identified from univariate analysis were brainstem invasion (OR 4.28, 95% CI 2.23–8.23; p < 0.0001), fourth ventricle invasion (OR 12.84, 95% CI 4.29–38.44; p < 0.00001), superior cerebellar peduncle invasion (OR 6.77, 95% CI 2.35–19.48; p = 0.0004), diagnosis of medulloblastoma (OR 3.26, 95% CI 1.93–5.52; p < 0.0001), medulloblastoma > 50 mm (OR 8.85, 95% CI 1.30–60.16; p = 0.03), left-handedness (OR 6.57, 95% CI 1.25–34.44; p = 0.03), and a vermis incision (OR 5.44, 95% CI 2.09–14.16; p = 0.0005). On the other hand, a tumor located in the cerebellar hemisphere (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.06–0.92; p = 0.04), cerebellar hemisphere compression (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.11–0.45; p < 0.0001), and intraoperative imaging (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.18–0.72; p = 0.004) reduced the risk of pCMS.
This study provides the largest and most reliable review of risk factors associated with pCMS. Although some risk factors may be dependent on one another, the data may be used by surgeons to better identify patients at risk for pCMS and for intervention planning.