Neurocognitive outcome 12 months following cerebellar mutism syndrome in pediatric patients with medulloblastoma

Neuro Oncol. 2010 Dec;12(12):1311-7. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noq094. Epub 2010 Aug 16.


The aim is to prospectively assess early neurocognitive outcome of children who developed cerebellar mutism syndrome (CMS) following surgical resection of a posterior fossa embryonal tumor, compared with carefully matched control patients. Children who were enrolled on an ongoing IRB-approved protocol for treatment of embryonal tumors, were diagnosed with postoperative CMS, and had completed prospectively planned neuropsychological evaluation at 12 months postdiagnosis were considered eligible. The cognitive outcomes of these patients were examined in comparison to patients without CMS from the same treatment protocol and matched with regard to primary diagnosis, age at diagnosis, and risk/corresponding treatment (n = 22 pairs). Seventeen were also matched according to gender, and 14 were also matched according to race. High-risk patients received 36-39.6 Gy CSI and 3D conformal boost to the primary site to 55.8-59.4 Gy. Average-risk patients received 23.4 Gy CSI and 3D conformal boost to the primary site to 55.8 Gy. Significant group differences were found on multiple cognitive outcomes. While the matched control patients exhibited performance in the average range, patients who developed CMS postsurgery were found to have significantly lower performance in processing speed, attention, working memory, executive processes, cognitive efficiency, reading, spelling, and math. Patients treated for medulloblastoma who experience postoperative CMS show an increased risk for neurocognitive impairment, evident as early as 12 months following diagnosis. This study highlights the need for careful follow-up with neuropsychological evaluation and for obtaining critical support for patients and their families.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebellar Diseases / etiology*
  • Cerebellar Diseases / pathology
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / complications
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cranial Irradiation
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / complications
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / complications
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology
  • Medulloblastoma / therapy*
  • Mutism / etiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Vincristine
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cisplatin