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Childs Nerv Syst. 2009 Mar;25(3):347-52. doi: 10.1007/s00381-008-0754-x. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Craniopharyngioma and hypothalamic obesity in children.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Hospital Roger Salengro, Lille University, Lille, France. m-vinchon@chru-lille.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Obesity is a major concern in children treated for craniopharyngioma and is caused by hypothalamic damage. The role of aggressive surgical removal has been questioned, leading some authors to recommend a minimalist approach. In order to test this hypothesis, we decided to study obesity in craniopharyngioma and the factors related to it.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We reviewed retrospectively our series of pediatric craniopharyngiomas operated since 1981. The body-mass index (BMI) was calculated for each patient pre- and at several intervals postoperatively and expressed as standard deviations (SD) adjusted for age and gender.

RESULTS:

We operated on 45 cases, which were followed up for a mean duration of 11.0 years. Initial resection was total in 25 cases (55.6%). No patient died because of surgery or tumor progression; two died with delay presumably because of endocrine failure. At last control, 28 patients (62%) had obesity (BMI over +2SD). Hypothalamic involvement was significantly correlated with preoperative and postoperative BMI. Subtotal tumor resection was significantly associated with obesity at last control. Reoperation for tumor recurrence was associated with a significantly higher BMI.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that obesity results from hypothalamic lesions caused by the tumor rather than by surgery. The postoperative weight gain appears to result from the continued impact of preoperative hypothalamic damage. The high rate of tumor recurrence in children, with the risk of additional damage to the hypothalamus, incites us to recommend total resection whenever it appears safe during initial surgery.

PMID:
19057910
DOI:
10.1007/s00381-008-0754-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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