Posterior fossa tumors
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Posterior fossa tumor has a very different differential in an adult as opposed to a child.
- cerebellar metastases (most common)
- hemangioblastoma: most common posterior fossa primary brain tumor in adults
- astrocytomas, medulloblastomas, and ependymomas 6 are encountered in the posterior fossa of younger adults but are rare in older adults, accounting for <1% all tumors
- lymphoma 4
- lipoma 4
- Lhermitte-Duclos disease
- subependymoma- most frequently near the obex
- choroid plexus papilloma- most frequently near the obex
- rosette forming glioneuronal tumor (RGNT)- frequently in the superior vermis
An important space-occupying lesion (the most common in fact) to remember is that of a stroke, which when subacute can mimic a tumor.
- posterior fossa astrocytoma
- medulloblastoma: most common (30-40%) 7
- atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT)
- hemangioblastoma (uncommon except in patients with vHL)
- teratoma (in infants)
A quick and handy mnemonic for posterior fossa tumors in children is BEAM.
Although it is true that posterior fossa tumors 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 tumors in children are found in the posterior fossa 3.
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