Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor After In Vitro Fertilization: Illustrative Case Report and Systematic Literature Review

World Neurosurg. 2018 May:113:129-134. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.02.012. Epub 2018 Feb 13.


Objective: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is increasingly used for the treatment of infertile couples worldwide. The association between IVF and cancer risk in offspring is conflicting. We present a case of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) in a girl conceived by IVF and present results of systematic review of literature of primary intracranial neoplasms diagnosed in children conceived by IVF.

Methods: A systematic review of literature was conducted on April 12, 2017, to identify previously published reports of intracranial brain tumors in patients conceived after IVF.

Results: A 21-month-old girl born after IVF and uneventful pregnancy presented with progressive nausea, vomiting, irritability, and right-side weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated large heterogeneous contrast enhancing left frontotemporoparietal tumor. The operation was aborted due to asystole after subtotal tumor removal. The patient passed away on postoperative day 3. Histologic examination demonstrated AT/RT. We identified 7 previously published case reports of intracranial neoplasms in children conceived by IVF. Patient age at brain tumor diagnosis ranged from 31st week of gestation to 3 years of age. The most common histological diagnosis was AT/RT (3 cases), followed by glioblastoma multiforme, gliosarcoma, medulloblastoma, craniopharyngioma, and choroid plexus papilloma. Three of five operated patients died during perioperative period. Outcomes were dismal in 7 patients.

Conclusions: IVF-associated brain tumors are usually malignant and associated with high mortality. Future studies investigating possible causal relationship between IVF and brain tumor risk are encouraged.

Keywords: Brain tumor; In vitro fertilization; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / etiology
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / pathology*
  • Teratoma / etiology
  • Teratoma / pathology*

Supplementary concepts

  • Typical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor