Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare MR imaging features of gangliogliomas in children less than 10 years old with those seen in patients at least 10 years old.
Materials and methods: Our study population consisted of 15 female patients and 10 male patients with a mean age of 20 years. The early childhood group was composed of six children with a mean age of 5.5 years. The older group was composed of 19 patients with a mean age of 25.6 years. We assessed tumor volume, tumor location, percentage of tumor that was cystic, pattern of contrast enhancement, and degree of edema.
Results: The temporal lobe was the most common tumor location in both groups. Mean tumor volume in the early childhood group was 83 cm3, which was significantly larger than the mean tumor volume (9.78 cm3) for the older group (p = 0.001). Cystic tumors were more common in the early childhood group (83%) than in the older group (63%), and the average percentage of cysts in the cystic tumors was much higher in the early childhood group (67%) than in the older group (30%). Contrast enhancement was seen in five of six early childhood tumors and 13 of 16 tumors in older patients. Four of six tumors in the early childhood group and five of 19 tumors in the older patient group had associated edema.
Conclusion: The mean tumor volume of gangliogliomas in the early childhood group was significantly larger than that of the older patient group. This finding may be indicative of differences in tumor growth patterns in the two groups, ability of the hemicranium to adjust to mass effect in childhood, or sampling error as a result of a relatively small sample size.