Fatigue in patients with low grade glioma: systematic evaluation of assessment and prevalence

J Neurooncol. 2017 Jun;133(2):237-246. doi: 10.1007/s11060-017-2454-4. Epub 2017 May 24.


Fatigue is the most prevalent and disabling symptom in cancer patients. Yet, scientific literature on this topic is scarce and reports disparate results. This study systematically reviews how fatigue is assessed in patients with low-grade glioma and evaluates its prevalence in LGG patients. A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed, Embase and PsychINFO for articles reporting on fatigue in patients with LGG. Two reviewers independently extracted data from selected articles. Inclusion criteria were: (1) patients with suspected or confirmed LGG; (2) fatigue was assessed as primary or secondary outcome measure; (3) age≥ 18 years; (4) full-length article written in English or Dutch. In total, 19 articles were selected, including 971 patients. Seven self-assessment instruments were identified. Prevalence rates ranged from 39 to 77%. Fatigue was found to be a common side effect of treatment. The prevalence rates ranged from 20 to 76% when fatigue was reported as a mild or moderate side effect and fatigue was prevalent in 4% when reported as a severe side effect. Fatigue is a common problem in LGG patients that warrants more therapeutic and scientific attention. Gaining deeper insight in the underlying mechanisms of fatigue is essential in targeting therapy to individual patients.

Keywords: Assesssment; Fatigue; Low-grade glioma; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms* / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Databases, Bibliographic / statistics & numerical data
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Glioma* / complications
  • Glioma* / diagnosis
  • Glioma* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence