Neurobehavioral outcome in pediatric craniopharyngioma

Pediatr Neurosurg. 1997 May;26(5):255-60. doi: 10.1159/000121200.


Neurobehavioral dysfunction occurs in children with craniopharyngioma, both before and after treatment, and its impact on outcome may not be fully appreciated. Also unclear is whether neurobehavioral outcome relates more to tumor location or surgical factors. We reviewed the records of 20 children with craniopharyngioma who were seen between 1983 and 1995. All children had subfrontal craniotomy and either partial (14 children) or gross total (6 children) resection of their tumors. In addition to traditional neuropsychological testing, we assessed social behavior and school performance using standardized ratings based on family interviews and school records. Over a mean follow-up period of 38 months, only 3 of 20 children had a good outcome in all three categories, and 12 of 20 had moderate or severe impairment in at least one category. Outcome did not differ between those who had partial and those with gross total resection. We conclude that neurobehavioral disorders are common and cause important morbidity in children after treatment for craniopharyngioma. To evaluate these impairments in future outcome studies, standard neuropsychological testing should be supplemented by specific behavioral assessments to capture the full range of neurobehavioral disability. In this series, partial versus gross total resection did not influence outcome, implying that tumor location in diencephalic and limbic regions is a more important factor.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Behavioral Symptoms / diagnosis*
  • Behavioral Symptoms / etiology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Craniopharyngioma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Behavior
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome