Pregnancy-related primary brain and spinal tumors

Arch Neurol. 1987 Feb;44(2):209-15. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1987.00520140069020.


We reviewed the literature concerning primary brain and spinal tumors with first manifestation or acceleration of symptoms during pregnancy or within the first postpartum week and encountered four new cases in our center. The incidence of brain tumors that become symptomatic during pregnancy appears to be decreased compared with that in age-matched women. The relative frequency of the different primary brain tumor types is not changed by pregnancy. The number of meningiomas gradually tends to increase during pregnancy, with gliomas and spinal vascular tumors accumulating in the first and third trimesters, respectively. Postpartum amelioration of symptoms has especially been described for meningiomas and spinal vascular tumors. We conclude that different types of tumors are influenced at different stages of pregnancy. Although progesterone receptors predominate compared with estrogen receptors, no definite causal relationship with progesterone has been established.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Glioma / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Meningioma / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / epidemiology*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / epidemiology*