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OBJECT: Current standard of care for children with infratentorial ependymoma includes maximal safe resection and local radiation of 54-59gy. High-dose local radiation has been associated with declines in multiple cognitive domains. The anatomic and physiologic correlates of this cognitive decline remain undefined and there have been no radiographic studies on the long-term effects of this treatment paradigm.METHODS: A comprehensive database of pediatric brain tumor patients treated at Stanford Children's from 2004-2016 was queried. Seven patients with posterior fossa ependymoma were identified who were treated with surgery and local radiation alone, who had no evidence of recurrent disease, and had imaging suitable for analysis. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) datasets were used to calculate apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps for each subject, while arterial spin labeling (ASL) datasets were used to calculated maps of cerebral blood flow (CBF). DWI and ASL datasets of 52 age-matched healthy children were a analyzed in the same fashion to enable group comparisons.RESULTS: Several statistically significant differences were detected between the two groups. CBF was lower in the caudate and pallidum and higher in the nucleus accumbens in the ependymoma cohort compared to controls. ADC was increased in the thalamus and trended towards decreased in the amygdala.CONCLUSIONS: Surgery and local radiation for posterior fossa ependymoma are associated with supratentorial ADC and CBF alterations, which may represent an anatomic and physiologic correlate to the previously published decline in neurocognitive outcomes in this population.
View details for PubMedID 30448581