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October 1984

Hypothalamic Astrocytoma, Hypothermia, and Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics I. W. Killam Hospital for Children 5850 University Ave PO Box 3070 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3G9, Canada

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(10):1022-1023. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04050210016005

To the Editor.  —I read with interest the article by Haugh and Markesbery.1 The patient described had a hypothalamic astrocytoma with accompanying neuroendrocrinologic problems and died, largely as the result of acute pancreatitis that the authors ascribed to hypothermia.Our experience with a similar patient helps to confirm the link between a hypothalamic tumor and pancreatitis. Our patient was seen at 6 years of age with failing vision, headache, increased intracranial pressure, and diabetes insipidus. A computed tomographic scan and biopsy specimen showed a large grade 1-2 asytocytoma that obliterated the third ventricle and obstructed CSF at the foramen of Monro. She was treated with radiotherapy and ventriculoperitoneal shunts. Her clinical course was gradually progressive, and by 8 years of age she was stuporous, unable to swallow, and intermittently decerebrate. Three months later she died. Her body temperature had been frequently documented as normal until the last three months

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