Novel suprasellar location of desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma and ganglioglioma: a single institution's experience

J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2018 Oct;22(4):397-403. doi: 10.3171/2018.4.PEDS17638. Epub 2018 Jul 6.


Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the clinical presentation, imaging appearance, and differential outcomes based on tumor location in 7 patients with desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma and desmoplastic infantile gangliogliomas (DIA/DIG).

Methods: Data of 7 patients with histopathology-proven DIA/DIGs and preoperative imaging were retrospectively reviewed, and age, sex, clinical presentation, imaging characteristics, tumor location, surgical procedure, postoperative morbidity, and overall mortality were recorded.

Results: Two subgroups of patients with DIA/DIGs were found to exist based on whether their tumor was located in the cerebral hemispheres or suprasellar region. Nearly all patients presented with rapidly enlarging head circumference regardless of tumor location. However, ocular abnormalities, including nystagmus and preference for downward gaze, were specific for patients with suprasellar disease. These patients experienced significant postoperative complications and had poor long-term outcomes. In contrast, patients with hemispheric tumors underwent more extensive resection than patients with suprasellar tumors, had uneventful postoperative courses, and had no documented long-term comorbidities.

Conclusions: Postoperative course and long-term outcome for patients with DIA/DIGs were correlated to the anatomical location and radiographic appearance of their tumor at presentation, despite having histologically and molecularly indistinguishable, WHO grade I tumors.

Keywords: DIA = desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma; DIG = desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma; desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma; desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma; neuroradiology; oncology; outcomes; pediatric neurosurgery.

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma / complications
  • Astrocytoma / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / complications
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology*
  • Female
  • Ganglioglioma / complications
  • Ganglioglioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies

Supplementary concepts

  • Desmoplastic cerebral astrocytoma of infancy