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Eveline Teresa Hidalgo, Michelle W. McQuinn and Jeffrey H. Wisoff

Optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) are relatively common and benign lesions in children; however, in adults these lesions are nearly always malignant and hold a very poor prognosis. In this report the authors present the case of an adult patient with a benign OPG who underwent subtotal resection without adjuvant therapy and has had no tumor progression for more than 20 years. A 50-year-old woman presented with a 2-year history of personality changes, weight gain, and a few months of visual disturbances. Ophthalmological evaluation showed incomplete right homonymous hemianopsia. MRI demonstrated a 2.5 × 2.5 × 2.5–cm enhancing left-sided lesion involving the hypothalamus with extension into the suprasellar cistern, extending along the left optic tract and anterior to the level of the optic chiasm. A biopsy procedure revealed a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma. A subtotal resection of approximately 80% of the tumor was performed. Postoperatively, the patient experienced complete resolution of her personality changes, and her weight decreased back to baseline. Ophthalmological examination showed increased right homonymous hemianopsia. In the years following her surgery, there was a spontaneous decrease in tumor size without adjuvant therapy. The patient continues to have an excellent quality of life despite a visual field defect, and no further tumor growth has been observed.

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Christian Schneider, Eveline Teresa Hidalgo, Thomas Schmitt-Mechelke and Karl F. Kothbauer


Presently, the best available treatment for intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) in children is microsurgery with the objective of maximal tumor removal and minimal neurological morbidity. The latter has become manageable with the development and standard use of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring. Traditionally, the perioperative neurological evaluation is based on surgical or spinal cord injury scores focusing on sensorimotor function. Little is known about the quality of life after such operations; therefore, this study was designed to investigate the impact of surgery for IMSCTs on the quality of life in children.


Twelve consecutive pediatric patients treated for IMSCT were included in this retrospective fixed cohort study. A multidimensional questionnaire-based quality of life instrument, the Pediatric Quality of Life Questionnaire version 4 (PedsQL 4.0), was chosen to analyze follow-up data. This validated instrument particularly allows for a comparison between a patient cohort and a healthy pediatric sample population.


Of 11 mailed questionnaires (1 patient had died of progressive disease), 10 were returned, resulting in a response rate of 91%. There were 8 low-grade lesions (5 pilocytic astrocytomas, 1 ganglioglioma, 1 hemangioblastoma, and 1 cavernoma) and 4 high-grade lesions (2 anaplastic gangliogliomas, 1 glioblastoma, and 1 glioneuronal tumor). The mean age at diagnosis was 7.5 years, the mean follow-up was 4.2 years, and 83% of the patients were male. Total resection was achieved in 5 patients and subtotal resection in 7. Four patients had undergone 2 or more resections. The 4 patients with high-grade tumors and 2 with incompletely resected low-grade tumors underwent adjuvant treatment (2 chemotherapy and 4 both radiotherapy and chemotherapy). The mean modified McCormick Scale score at the time of diagnosis was 1.7; at the time of follow-up, 1.5. The mean PedsQL 4.0 total score in the low-grade group was 78.5; in the high-grade group, 82.6. There was no significant difference in PedsQL 4.0 scores between the patient cohort and the normal population.


In a small cohort of children who had undergone surgery for IMSCTs with a mean follow-up of 4.2 years, quality of life scores according to the PedsQL 4.0 instrument were not different from those in a normal sample population.

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Eveline Teresa Hidalgo, Svetlana Kvint, Cordelia Orillac, Emily North, Yosef Dastagirzada, Jamie Chiapei Chang, Gifty Addae, Tara S. Jennings, Matija Snuderl and Jeffrey H. Wisoff


The choice of treatment modality for optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) is controversial. Chemotherapy is widely regarded as first-line therapy; however, subtotal resections have been reported for decompression or salvage therapy as first- and second-line treatment. The goal of this study was to further investigate the role and efficacy of resection for OPGs.


A retrospective chart review was performed on 83 children who underwent surgical treatment for OPGs between 1986 and 2014. Pathology was reviewed by a neuropathologist. Clinical outcomes, including progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and complications, were analyzed.


The 5- and 10-year PFS rates were 55% and 46%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year OS rates were 87% and 78%, respectively. The median extent of resection was 80% (range 30%–98%). Age less than 2 years at surgery and pilomyxoid features of the tumor were found to be associated with significantly lower 5-year OS. No difference was seen in PFS or OS of children treated with surgery as a first-line treatment compared with children with surgery as a second- or third-line treatment. Severe complications included new disabling visual deficit in 5%, focal neurological deficit in 8%, and infection in 2%. New hormone deficiency occurred in 22% of the children.


Approximately half of all children experience a long-term benefit from resection both as primary treatment and as a second-line therapy after failure of primary treatment. Primary surgery does not appear to have a significant benefit for children younger than 2 years or tumors with pilomyxoid features. Given the risks associated with surgery, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to tailor the treatment plan to the individual characteristics of each child.