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Neuropediatrics. 2006 Dec;37(6):350-8.

Impact of surgery and adjuvant therapy on balance function in children and adolescents with cerebellar tumors.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany. beate.schoch@uni-essen.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study examined the effects of posterior fossa tumor surgery and concomitant irradiation and/or chemotherapy on the long-term recovery of balance function in children and adolescent patients.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

22 patients, treated during childhood for a benign (n = 14) or malignant cerebellar tumor (n = 8), were examined in chronic state (mean latency between surgery and testing: 7.7 years, range 3 - 17 years). Postural impairments were assessed with static and dynamic posturography. All cerebellar lesions were documented by standardized and normalized MRI data. Healthy age- and gender-matched subjects served as a control group.

RESULTS:

Comparing the balance function of (i) children with or without affected cerebellar nuclei and (ii) children with and without adjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy revealed that damage to the cerebellar nuclei had more impact on neurological impairment than concomitant tumor therapy. Balance abnormalities were most pronounced when a lesion affected the fastigial nucleus. Chemotherapy with its neurological side effect was associated with enhanced postural sway in only two children with malignant tumors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study results indicate that the sparing of the deep cerebellar nuclei had the greatest impact on the recovery of balance function in pediatric patients treated for both a benign or malignant cerebellar tumor.

PMID:
17357037
DOI:
10.1055/s-2007-964904
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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