Bilateral thalamic glioma

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 04 Oct 2021

Bilateral thalamic gliomas are rare but characteristic low-grade astrocytomas that occur in both children and young adults.

Presentation may vary with age. Young children with bilateral thalamic glioma often have signs of increased intracranial pressure and movement disorders, while older children and adults often experience mental deterioration with behavioral impairment such as personality changes or dementia.

It is a type of low-grade astrocytoma (World Health Organizatiοn grade II).

CT and MRI typically show expansion of both thalami. While often symmetric, the involvement can also be asymmetric. Tumors may spread to involve the striatum. Depending on the degree of mass-effect, there may be accompanying hydrocephalus.

  • T2/FLAIR: hyperintense
  • T1: isointense
  • DWI: no diffusion restriction
  • T1 C+ (Gd): no post-contrast enhancement

Because of the deep location of the lesions, prognosis is very poor despite therapy.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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