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Forniceal glioma in children

Clinical article

Thomas Blauwblomme, Pascale Varlet, John R. Goodden, Marie Laure Cuny, Helene Piana, Thomas Roujeau, Federico DiRocco, Jacques Grill, Virginie Kieffer, Nathalie Boddaert, Christian Sainte-Rose, and Stéphanie Puget


Five to ten percent of pediatric brain tumors are located in the ventricles. Among them, forniceal lesions are rare and their management has not often been described. The aim of this study was to review the clinical, radiological, and histopathological features as well as the feasibility of surgical excision and the outcomes in these patients.


From a retrospective analysis of 250 cases of supratentorial pediatric glioma, the records of 8 children presenting with forniceal lesions were selected and reviewed.


The median age of patients in the cohort was 13.5 years. Presenting features included intracranial hypertension (7 cases), hypothalamic dysfunction (2), and memory dysfunction (3). Complete resection was possible in only 1 case, where the lesion was mainly exophytic; the remaining patients had either a partial resection or biopsy. On histological review, the tumors were confirmed as pilocytic astrocytoma (4 lesions), WHO Grade II astrocytoma (3), and ganglioglioma (1). Postoperatively, working and retrograde memory was normal for all patients, but the authors found a mild alteration in verbal episodic memory in 5 patients. Despite fatigability for 5 patients, academic achievement was normal for all but 2, both of whom had preoperative school difficulties. Additional treatment was required for 5 patients for tumor progression, with a median interval of 19 months from surgery. At a median follow-up duration of 4.9 years, all patients had stable disease.


In this series, forniceal gliomas were found to be low-grade gliomas. They are surgically challenging, and only exophytic lesions may be cured surgically. Due to the high rate of progression of residual disease, adjuvant therapy is recommended for infiltrative tumors, and it yielded excellent results.

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Marie-Laure Cuny, Pascale Piolino, Giovanna Paternoster, Hélène Piana, Thomas Blauwblomme, Kévin Beccaria, Marie Bourgeois, Sarah Stricker, Julie Prodhomme, Clémence Trousson, Béatrice Navarro, Eglantine Esnault, Mathilde Cozzo, Maria Abram, Syril James, Nathalie Boddaert, Christian Sainte-Rose, Laurence Vaivre-Douret, and Stephanie Puget


The authors’ objective was to study clinical, imaging, and neuropsychological changes in children who underwent surgery for a temporal arachnoid cyst (TAC).


Thirty-four children were prospectively assessed similarly at diagnosis and postoperatively (mean 14 months) with clinic visits, images, cognitive tests, and parental questionnaires on mood/behavior and executive functions. The scores were compared pre- and postoperatively for the entire cohort and individually. The scores of 25 children were also compared with a control group of 23 healthy age-matched children. Parents were administered an outcome questionnaire on average 4 years postoperatively.


The 34 children selected for surgery had signs of raised intracranial pressure (74%) and/or selective neuropsychological disorders presumably linked to cyst location (learning difficulties in 65%, cognitive difficulties in 56%, and mood/behavior difficulties in 47%). The majority of patients had a convex cyst (85%) and underwent microsurgical fenestration (85%). The TAC volume decreased ≥ 50% for 59% of children. On the Wechsler Intelligence Scale, the entire cohort significantly improved on Full Scale IQ and verbal and perceptual nonverbal indexes. Individually, nearly half of the children (47%) highly increased their scores (≥ 15 points) on at least one IQ index and 26% on at least two indexes. Language, working memory, episodic memory, and executive functions were also significantly improved. Improvements were more pronounced in patients with a preoperative heterogeneous profile with isolated lower scores and a left-sided cyst. Parental questionnaires showed reduction in anxiety, aggressiveness, social problems, and daily life executive disorders. Preschool-aged children improved significantly in language and verbal IQ, as did middle/high school–aged children in many domains. Individual analyses revealed improvement in 76% of cases. Cognitive scores were lower for patients preoperatively than for controls and were no longer significantly different postoperatively in verbal fluency, visual memory, and working memory. Four years later, 97% of parents described an improvement in their child, correlated with cognitive improvements.


Among children with a TAC, some have no clinical signs or neuropsychological difficulties, and others may show signs of raised intracranial pressure and/or specific neuropsychological disorders that impact daily life and require significant and long-lasting rehabilitation. In these cases, consideration may be given to surgical decompression. It is interesting to note that 76% of this surgically treated cohort improved regardless of the child’s age, particularly in patients with selective disorders and an impact on daily life. However, a larger number of children will need to be investigated before the true benefit of such treatment can be known.

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Marie-Laure Cuny, Laurence Vaivre-Douret, Hélène Piana, Thomas Blauwblomme, Kévin Beccaria, Giovanna Paternoster, Marie Bourgeois, Syril James, Michel Zerah, Julie Prodhomme, Eglantine Esnault, Mathilde Cozzo, Clémence Trousson, Béatrice Navarro, Sarah Stricker, Nathalie Boddaert, Christian Sainte-Rose, Pascale Piolino, and Stephanie Puget


The aim of this study was to determine the cognitive profile of children with a temporal arachnoid cyst (TAC) and its impact on daily life.


The authors prospectively analyzed the cognitive and psychological profiles of 100 consecutive children relative to age and cyst characteristics (side, cyst size, and cyst shape: convex or nonconvex) and their outcome 4 years later.


Mean IQs were normal but with high heterogeneity on Full Scale IQ (FSIQ; range 59–150); 29% of children had at least one Wechsler index below the norm, in particular, Processing Speed and Working Memory Indexes. Impairments were observed in language for 31% of children, as well as in verbal memory (28%), visual memory (23%), executive function (21%), and visual attention (24%). Half of the children (50%) needed rehabilitation for learning difficulties, and 26% had academic difficulties. The parental questionnaire BRIEF (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) revealed significant executive dysfunctions in daily life for 22% of the children. One-third of the patients (34%) required psychotherapy for anxiety or social disorders, with higher rates in patients with a right-sided cyst and older children. Cyst size had very little neuropsychological impact. Convex cysts were significantly associated with worse performance than nonconvex cysts on all Wechsler indexes and FSIQ, and in language, verbal memory, attention, and visuospatial skills. Children with a convex cyst had significantly more executive and behavior difficulties in daily life and more psychotherapy than other children. The effect of cyst shape was independent of Galassi type and cyst side. Children with a ruptured cyst or an incidentally discovered cyst usually had a good cognitive level. Four years later, children without initial disorders remained stable, whereas those with difficulties who did not undergo surgery needed more rehabilitation and school adaptations.


This large cohort study revealed a varied profile of children with a TAC: at initial assessment, 50% had neuropsychological difficulties and needed rehabilitation and/or psychotherapy for learning or behavior difficulties, and 50% had no difficulties, which may explain the debate about this pathology. Patients with neuropsychological difficulties had a heterogeneous profile with normal intelligence but selective cognitive and/or behavior disorders that may have a long-term impact on their quality of life, particularly those with a right-sided cyst. A neuropsychological evaluation is not always necessary for a cyst discovered incidentally, but early evaluation is essential in patients with academic, learning, or psychological disorders. When assessment shows selective disorders presumably linked to cyst location, surgery may be considered, particularly for convex cysts, as this study revealed more effects in association with cyst shape than with cyst size and significantly poorer performance with a convex cyst.