Medulloblastoma in childhood: progressive intellectual deterioration

Childs Nerv Syst. 1990 Mar;6(2):60-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00307922.


A series of 120 medulloblastomas in children operated on between 1967 and 1987 at the Hôpital des Enfants-Malades has been reviewed in order to check whether the conclusions of our study published 10 years ago have remained valid and, in particular, to verify whether the quality of life of these patients, which had been found to be poor at the time, had improved or worsened over the years. The postoperative mortality for the whole series was 6.5%; there have been no deaths in the 35 patients operated on after 1980. The overall survival rate for the 120 children was 60% at 5 years and 53% at 10 years; for the patients who completed radiotherapy, the survival rate was 73% at 5 years and 64% at 10 years. Survival rates were surprisingly better in patients treated when under 6 years of age than in older children. They were also better in girls than in boys, and in desmoplastic compared with other medulloblastomas; however, the differences were not significant. When comparing the groups after total or subtotal resection of tumors, survival rates were not significantly different, but were lower in the small group of partial resections. Cell differentiation did not influence the prognosis. Psychological sequelae were significant and worsened over the years. Five years after treatment 58% of the children showed an IQ above 80; 5 years later this group included only 15% of the patients. These psychological sequelae were related to age at the time of radiotherapy: the younger the child, the lower the final IQ.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications*
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / complications*
  • Medulloblastoma / radiotherapy