Epidemiological analysis of central nervous system tumors in pediatric patients from a tertiary care centre in India

Rinu Dwivedi, P. Sudhapriya, P. Padmavathi, Vivek Sharma, V. V. Rameshchandra, B. C.M. Prasad, K. V.S. Sarma


Background: Tumors of the nervous system are the second most common childhood cancer after leukemia. The diagnosis of CNS tumors is challenging due to non-specific symptoms in children which mimic other less serious illness.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of case records of patients from 0-18 years of age, who were diagnosed with CNS tumors for a period of 7 years.

Results: Out of total 64 patients included in this study, 32 were females and 24 were males. The mean age was 13.2 years. The most common clinical presentation in patients with brain tumors was headache (92.3%) followed by visual symptoms in the form of blurring or loss of vision (42.3%) and swaying while walking (32.6%). The overall mean symptom interval for all patients was 274.8 days (approx. 9 months) ranging from 7-1820 days. In the present study out of total 64 patients, 54 were brain tumors (35 supratentorial and 19 infratentorial) and 10 were spinal tumors. The most common tumor location was cerebellum (21.8%) followed by cerebral cortex, spine and sellar area. Based on histopathology the most common tumor type in our study was astrocytoma. There was no significant correlation of symptom interval with age and gender but was significantly associated with location and tumor grade.

Conclusions: Early referral to centers with appropriate facilities will help, as many pediatric CNS tumors are low grade with better survival.


Headache, Infratentorial, Supratentorial, Tumor grade, Paediatric brain tumors

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