Document Type



Neurosurgery; Surgery


Abstract Background: Pilocytic Astrocytoma (PA) is a common type of brain tumor in the pediatric population. They have a fairly good prognosis. This study describes PAs in detail, with a focus on the demographic factors, presenting features, management and prognosis, and aims, to identify the negative outcome predictors in our population, which can affect the course of the disease. This article will add to the understanding of PAs from a third world perspective. Methods: The Aga Khan University medical records (1995 – 2007) were reviewed, to study the clinical features, management, and outcome of patients (0 – 15 years) with Pilocytic Astrocytomas (PAs) in our population. After a thorough review of the medical records, all the PAs diagnosed on the basis of histopathology at our Pathology Laboratory, during this period, were included in the study. Results: Twenty-two patients were included with a mean age of 9.25 years. Male-to-female ratio was 1 : 1. The most common presenting feature was a sign of increased intracranial pressure. The most common location was the cerebellum followed by the cerebrum. Fifteen patients underwent maximum surgical resection. Three had recurrence, despite no residual tumor. There were 10 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions and one inpatient mortality. Fifteen patients followed up in the clinic: Eight had recurrence and four underwent repeat surgery (three showed clinical improvement). Hydrocephalus was a predictor of ICU admission. Solid consistency was found to be a marker of recurrence. Conclusion: Pilocytic Astrocytomas are the most common pediatric brain tumors in our population, commonly located in the cerebellum. Complete resection is the best treatment option, but some tumors are aggressive and recurrence is not uncommon. The possible negative outcome predictors are age, source of admission, extent of resection, hydrocephalus, and solid consistency.

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