Pediatric midbrain tumors: A benign subgroup of brainstem gliomas

P. L. Robertson, K. M. Muraszko, James A Brunberg, R. A. Axtell, R. C. Dauser, A. T. Turrisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The presentation, radiographic findings and course of 17 children with MRI-documented intrinsic midbrain lesions are reviewed. The anatomic centers of all the lesions were tectal, peritectal, or tegmental. Lesions centered at the pineal gland were excluded. Signs of increased intracranial pressure from hydrocephalus requiring shunt placement were present in 14 patients. Histopathological diagnosis was confirmed in three tumors; these were low grade astrocytomas and all received focal irradiation, as did one unbiopsied tumor. The remaining 13 patients with no histopathological diagnosis received no therapy other than shunt placement in 11. All but one of the lesions have remained clinically and radiographically stable, with a 4-year progression-free and total survival of 94 and 100 %, respectively. We conclude that mass lesions originating in the upper midbrain are a subset of intrinsic brainstem tumors with a relatively benign course, usually presenting with hydrocephalus after infancy. They may remain stable for considerable periods and may require no further therapy after treatment of hydrocephalus. Surgical biopsy and/or resection can usually be reserved for progressive or atypical lesions which may also require further adjuvant therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Glioma
  • Midbrain
  • Neoplasm
  • Tectal region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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