PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to describe the symptoms and signs of central nervous system (CNS) tumors in a pediatric population and to assess the time interval between the onset of the disease and the time of the diagnosis. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted at our Oncology Pediatric Unit between January 2000 and November 2011. We included 75 children between 5 months and 16 years (mean age of 7.8 ± 4.7 years), with male to female ratio of 3:2. The tumor localization was supratentorial in 51% of cases, and the most frequent histological type was low-grade astrocytoma (48%). RESULTS: Presenting symptoms were headache (31%), vomiting (31%), seizures (21%), and behavioral change (11%). The most common symptoms at diagnosis were headache (51%), vomiting (51%), visual difficulties (37%), seizures (24%), and behavioral change (21%). By the time of diagnosis, neurologic examination was altered in 68% of our patients. Vomiting (44%) and behavioral change (44%) were the most frequent symptoms in children under 4 years of age, headache (61%) and vomiting (54%) in children older than 4 years. The median interval between symptoms' onset and diagnosis was 4 weeks (range 0 to 314 weeks). A longer symptom interval was associated with younger age, infratentorial localization and low-grade tumors. The differences in symptom intervals between the different age, location, and grade groups were not statistically significant. Survival probability was influenced by tumor grade but not by diagnostic delay or age of the child. CONCLUSIONS: Headache and vomiting are the earliest and commonest symptoms in children with brain tumors. Visual symptoms and signs and behavioral change are often present. Abnormalities in neurological examination are reported in most of the children. Intracranial hypertension symptoms suggest the need for a neurological clinical examination and an ophthalmological assessment.

Presentation and symptom interval in children with central nervous system tumors. A single-center experience

PILOTTO, Chiara
;
TOSOLINI, Raffaello
;
PUSIOL, Anna
;
COGO, Paola
2017

Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to describe the symptoms and signs of central nervous system (CNS) tumors in a pediatric population and to assess the time interval between the onset of the disease and the time of the diagnosis. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted at our Oncology Pediatric Unit between January 2000 and November 2011. We included 75 children between 5 months and 16 years (mean age of 7.8 ± 4.7 years), with male to female ratio of 3:2. The tumor localization was supratentorial in 51% of cases, and the most frequent histological type was low-grade astrocytoma (48%). RESULTS: Presenting symptoms were headache (31%), vomiting (31%), seizures (21%), and behavioral change (11%). The most common symptoms at diagnosis were headache (51%), vomiting (51%), visual difficulties (37%), seizures (24%), and behavioral change (21%). By the time of diagnosis, neurologic examination was altered in 68% of our patients. Vomiting (44%) and behavioral change (44%) were the most frequent symptoms in children under 4 years of age, headache (61%) and vomiting (54%) in children older than 4 years. The median interval between symptoms' onset and diagnosis was 4 weeks (range 0 to 314 weeks). A longer symptom interval was associated with younger age, infratentorial localization and low-grade tumors. The differences in symptom intervals between the different age, location, and grade groups were not statistically significant. Survival probability was influenced by tumor grade but not by diagnostic delay or age of the child. CONCLUSIONS: Headache and vomiting are the earliest and commonest symptoms in children with brain tumors. Visual symptoms and signs and behavioral change are often present. Abnormalities in neurological examination are reported in most of the children. Intracranial hypertension symptoms suggest the need for a neurological clinical examination and an ophthalmological assessment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1119472
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