Preoperative neurocognitive evaluation as a predictor of brain tumor grading in pediatric patients with supratentorial hemispheric tumors

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Objective: The objective of the present study was to retrospectively evaluate the relationship between tumor grading and a selective evaluation of neurocognitive and behavioral functions in children with supratentorial hemispheric brain tumors. Methods: Children admitted with a diagnosis of supratentorial hemispheric tumors involving the cerebral hemispheres or the thalamus at the Pediatric Neurosurgery Unit of the Catholic University of Rome between January 2008 and January 2014 were considered for the present study. Exclusion criteria were represented by age less than 2 years, severe neurological deficits, seizures, and a metastatic disease. A selective neurocognitive and behavioral workout was used for children aged less and more than 5 years. Results: Global cognitive functions as well as selective neurocognitive and behavioral profiles were found to be significantly worse in children with low-grade tumors, compared with those affected by higher-grades histotypes. Frontal locations for cortical tumors and thalamic lesions were significantly related with worse results, with a clear contribution of dominant vs. nondominant hemisphere involvement and an age higher than 5 years. Conclusions: Preoperative global and selective neurocognitive evaluation might contribute to the prediction of the tumor aggressiveness. Due to a longer clinical history, more benign tumors more frequently arrive to the diagnosis with a neurocognitive compromise in spite of an apparently mild presence of neurological symptoms and signs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1931-1937
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Age Factors
  • Brain
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders
  • Cortical tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurocognitive functions
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Pediatric age
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
  • Preoperative Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Supratentorial Neoplasms
  • Thalamic tumor


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