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Primary central nervous system sarcomas in children: clinical, radiological, and pathological features


Primary central nervous system sarcomas in children: clinical, radiological, and pathological features



Child's Nervous System: Chns: Official Journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery 19(12): 808-817



ISSN/ISBN: 0256-7040

PMID: 14574612

DOI: 10.1007/s00381-003-0839-5

The clinical, radiological, surgical, and pathological findings of 16 children with a primary central nervous system (CNS) sarcoma are reported. There were 8 (50%) girls and 8 (50%) boys ranging in age from 4 months to 14 years (mean age 4.8 years). Four patients (23%) were in their 1st year of life. Fourteen children (87%) had an intracranial sarcoma, and 2 (13%) had intraspinal tumors. Nine intracranial tumors (60%) were supratentorial. The parietal and temporal regions were the most frequently involved sites. Characteristic imaging findings included tumor cysts in 7 patients and marked tumoral enhancement in 9 (69%) with intratumoral calcification and hemorrhage. All patients underwent at least one operation to surgically remove the tumor with the aim of maximal resection and 3 patients underwent a second resection due to a recurrent tumor. Resection was total in 9 (53%) patients and subtotal in another 7 (41%). Dural attachment by tumor was confirmed in 7 (44%) patients and parenchymal invasion was present in 9 (56%). In one-third of the patients there was a well-defined plane of dissection around the tumor. Postoperative radiation was used in 10 patients. Postoperative chemotherapy was used in all but 2 patients. Immunohistochemical studies were available in 13 patients with the most consistent finding being strong vimentin positivity. Five out of the 6 patients in whom the proliferation markers were obtained demonstrated a high proliferation index (Ki-67 labeling index, 20-50%). The mean length of survival in the group was 4.6 years (range 1 month to 16 years). Children who presented in the 1st year of life had shorter survival than those who presented at an older age. Six patients (40%) had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dissemination of the tumor. CSF dissemination was associated with a shorter mean survival of 1.9 years. Our review of this series of patients indicates the requirement for adjuvant therapy and for continued efforts to classify tumor subtypes aimed at optimizing future treatments for patients with a primary CNS sarcoma.

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