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November 1975

Thalamic Tumors in Childhood: Clinical, Laboratory, and Therapeutic Considerations

Author Affiliations

From the Seizure Unit and Division of Neurophysiology, departments of neurology and neurosurgery of Children's Hospital Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Neurol. 1975;32(11):740-744. doi:10.1001/archneur.1975.00490530062005

• Eighteen cases of primary thalamic tumor occurring in children (ages 21/2 to 121/2 years) were studied retrospectively. Among the clinical features of this group that contrasted with adults having similar tumors were a shorter duration of symptoms before diagnosis and a higher incidence of motor abnormalities in the early illness. In several cases, symptoms and signs usually associated with cerebellar disorders predominated. Arteriography or gas encephalography or both were diagnostic in all but two cases. The electroencephalogram, abnormal in slightly more than 70% of the cases, suggested a thalamic mass in more than one third. A highly specific EEG feature was the presence of spindles while patients were awake. In 15 cases there was some evidence of ventricular dilation and nine of these later required shunts. In addition to shunting procedures, therapy included x-ray therapy alone or with craniotomy or craniotomy alone.

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