Brainstem glioma

Case contributed by Dr Jeremy Jones


Vague headache for 3 months. Acute deterioration with vomiting. No neurology.

Patient Data

Age: 7 year old
Gender: Female

A huge mass centered on the pons - it expands the brainstem with mass effect on the 4th ventricle, extends into the cerebral peduncles and anteriorly around the basilar artery. The lateral and third ventricles are dilated with prominence of the temporal horns.

Case Discussion

This child presented with a long history of headache with superimposed acute deterioration. The huge pontine glioma shows that large tumors can grow to a significant size without resulting in significant symptoms.

Despite relatively few symptoms over time, the tumor eventually completely obstructs CSF flow and results in hydrocephalus with symptoms of raised intracranial pressure.

The child needs a neurosurgical review and consideration of a ventricular access device to reduce the pressure. 

The hydrocephalus in this case is relatively mild without periventricular edema. 

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Case information

rID: 21819
Published: 20th Feb 2013
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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