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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Mar 1;76(3):859-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.02.054. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Differences in supratentorial damage of white matter in pediatric survivors of posterior fossa tumors with and without adjuvant treatment as detected by magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.



To elucidate morphologic correlates of brain dysfunction in pediatric survivors of posterior fossa tumors by using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine neuroaxonal integrity in white matter.


Seventeen medulloblastoma (MB) patients who had received surgery and adjuvant treatment, 13 pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) patients who had been treated only with surgery, and age-matched healthy control subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging on a 3-Tesla system. High-resolution conventional T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and DTI data sets were obtained. Fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were analyzed using tract-based spatial statistics, a part of the Functional MRI of the Brain Software Library.


Compared with control subjects, FA values of MB patients were significantly decreased in the cerebellar midline structures, in the frontal lobes, and in the callosal body. Fractional anisotropy values of the PA patients were not only decreased in cerebellar hemispheric structures as expected, but also in supratentorial parts of the brain, with a distribution similar to that in MB patients. However, the amount of significantly decreased FA was greater in MB than in PA patients, underscoring the aggravating neurotoxic effect of the adjuvant treatment.


Neurotoxic mechanisms that are present in PA patients (e.g., internal hydrocephalus and damaged cerebellar structures affecting neuronal circuits) contribute significantly to the alteration of supratentorial white matter in pediatric posterior fossa tumor patients.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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