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

Beate Schoch, J. Konczak, A. Dimitrova, E. R. Gizewski, R. Wieland, D. Timmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropediatrics
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • Ataxia
  • Balance control
  • Brain tumor
  • Cerebellum
  • Chemotherapy

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