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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2001 Jul;103(2):105-10.

Lhermitte-Duclos disease (Dysplastic gangliocytoma of the cerebellum).

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Department of Neurosurgery, Academic Hospital München-Bogenhausen, Technical University of Munich, Englschalkingerstrasse 77, D-81925 München, Germany.



Dysplastic gangliocytoma of the cerebellum (Lhermitte-Duclos disease) is a rare hamartomatous lesion of the cerebellar cortex. The pathogenesis of the disease is still poorly understood. Lhermitte-Duclos disease was recently considered to be part of a multiple hamartoma-neoplasia syndrome (Cowden disease). We add two further cases to this rare entity.


A 24-year old woman presented with occipital headaches, blurred vision, diplopia and ataxia of gait. Physical examination revealed turricephaly. The second patient was a 37-year old woman, who presented with progressive occipital headache with nausea and vomiting. Physical examination revealed congenital facial asymmetry. Computed tomography and NMR-imaging, respectively demonstrated a space occupying mass of a cerebellar hemisphere in both cases.


Suboccipital craniotomy and complete removal of the infratentorial tumour were performed in both patients. Histopathological findings clinched the diagnosis of Lhermitte-Duclos disease. Postoperative course was uneventful in the first and complicated by progressive occlusive hydrocephalus in the second patient, necessitating permanent surgical shunt drainage. Both patients were discharged free of complaints.


Dysplastic cerebellar gangliocytoma is commonly associated with progressive mass effects in the posterior fossa and typically presents with headaches, cerebellar dysfunction, occlusive hydrocephalus and cranial nerve palsies. The disease usually manifests in young adults, but the age at presentation ranges from birth to the sixth decade. There is no sex predilection. NMR-imaging became a useful clue to the diagnosis within the last decade. Therapy consists of decompression of the posterior fossa by total surgical removal of the tumour mass.

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