Posterior fossa tumours

A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Posterior fossa tumour has a very different differential in an adult as opposed to a child.


An important space occupying lesion (the most common in fact) to remember is that of a stroke, which when subacute can mimic a tumour. 


A quick and handy mnemonic for posterior fossa tumours in children is BEAM.

Although it is true that posterior fossa tumours are much more common in children than in adults the distribution does vary with age 2:

  • 0 to 3 years of age: supratentorial > infratentorial
  • 4 to 10 years of age: infratentorial > supratentorial
  • 10 to early adulthood: infratentorial = supratentorial
  • adults: supratentorial > infratentorial

Overall 50-55% of all brain tumours in children are found in the posterior fossa 3.

Share article

Article information

rID: 1914
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Posterior fossa tumors in children
  • Posterior fossa tumour
  • Paediatric posterior fossa tumours
  • Posterior fossa tumor
  • Posterior fossa tumors
  • Posterior fossa tumours in children
  • Pediatric posterior fossa tumors

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Pilocytic astrocytoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.