Familial cases of intracranial ependymomas have been well documented in the literature. The authors present two cases from a family in which three members harbored intracranial ependymomas. A 54-year-old man with fourth ventricular ependymoma underwent resection of the tumor followed by radiation therapy. His son presented at age 36 years with a fourth ventricular tanycytic ependymoma and underwent total resection of the ependymoma with postoperative radiation therapy. The father's sister had been treated at another institution for a posterior fossa ependymoma. The association of ependymomas with molecular genetic alterations in chromosome 22 has been previously described. Further investigation of the genetic influences may lead to better therapeutic approaches for this relatively rare clinicopathological entity.
Report of three cases in a family and review of the literature
Vassilios G. Dimopoulos, Kostas N. Fountas and Joe Sam Robinson
Vassilios G. Dimopoulos, Ioannis Z. Kapsalakis and Kostas N. Fountas
✓Differences in skull morphological characteristics among various human populations were first described by Herodotus of Halicarnassus. The Hippocratic treatise On Head Wounds (Περι των εν κεφαλη τρωματων) provided the first detailed description of human skull anatomy. The Hippocratic author presented the first systematic attempt to create a classification system of skull and cranial suture morphology. Detailed descriptions of various human skull types and cranial sutures were provided along with information regarding the macroscopic structure and thickness of different parts of the skull. The significance of skull thickness in patients with head injuries was also presented in the Hippocratic text. The authors discuss the influence of this treatise on the later development of descriptive skull anatomy and on the development of modern neurosurgery.