Astrocytoma 1
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Astrocytoma 1
Astrocytoma 2
Astrocytoma 3
Astrocytoma 4

WHO Grade I Astrocytomas

Very slowly growing tumours, often with a cystic component, that occur at younger ages in comparison to other astrocytomas.  They are “benign”, and usually do not recur—though this possibility along with the possibility of malignant change does exist.

Treatment:  the treatment of choice is surgical removal to the maximum extent possible without causing neurological deficit.  In recurrence, too, the treatment of choice remains surgical.  Radiation may be indicated in cases where the tumour is surgically inaccessible or not amenable to removal, and in cases of partial removal.  Chemotherapy may sometimes be indicated in optic gliomas at the chiasma.

Prognosis:  the prognosis for these tumours is relatively good with “cure” often being achieved—said cure being defined either as lack of recurrence when following complete removal, or lack of progression and/or malignant transformation when following partial removal.  Younger patients tend to have a better prognosis than older ones.

Pilocytic astrocytomas:

Predominance: occur more frequently in children and young adults.

Locations:

a) Optic gliomas: located either along one of the two optic nerves, or at the  

optic chiasm—the junction/intersection between the two optic nerves. 

b) Hypothalamic gliomas: located in the hypothalamus and third-ventricular

    region with frequent involvement of the optic chiasm.

            c) Cerebral hemispheres gliomas: more often in young adults.

d) Brainstem gliomas: more frequently in the upper brainstem area.

e) Cerebellar gliomas: more often during the second decade of life.

            f) Spinal cord: rare, and usually in younger patients.

Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas:

Occurs in the lateral ventricles of the brain, usually in association with a genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis, and often causes obstructive hydrocephalus—a condition where the natural flow of cerebrospinal fluid is hampered.

Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma:

Often in the temporal lobe area and characterised by intractable seizures.

last changed 26/05/2011.

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