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Pediatr Neurosurg. 2001 Feb;34(2):88-93.

Prognostic implications for gadolinium enhancement of the meninges in low-grade astrocytomas of childhood.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02115, USA.



Persistent gadolinium enhancement on MRI of the meninges in some children with low-grade astrocytomas (LGA) is a widely recognized phenomenon. The relationship of this finding with the clinical course is unclear.


From a consecutive cohort of 282 children with pathologically confirmed LGA we identified all patients with asymptomatic gadolinium enhancement of the meninges found on surveillance MRI. A nested case-control study was performed, comparing patients with meningeal enhancement to controls without enhancement.


Twenty-one children were identified with meningeal enhancement. The median follow-up was 5.2 years with enhancement noted for a median of 2.2 years. The 5-year overall survival for this cohort was 91.2% (Greenwood SE 8.0%), and the 5-year progression-free survival was 20.9% (SE 11.9%). Five patients are now free of disease, while 15 continue to have stable disease. The overall and progression-free survival was not significantly different compared to controls.


Gadolinium enhancement of the meninges on MRI may occur in a significant number of children with LGA, particularly juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, but does not appear to affect progression-free or overall survival. Change in management based on this finding alone is unwarranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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