Alexandria Journal of Medicine

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The supracerebellar infratentorial approach in pineal region tumors: Technique and outcome in an underprivileged setting

Mahmoud Abbassy, Khaled Aref, Ahmed Farhoud, Anwar Hekal


Background: Pineal region tumors represent 1.5–8.5% of the pediatric brain tumors. Management includes endoscopic third ventriculostomy and biopsy in cases presenting with hydrocephalus. In addition, surgical resection provides survival advantage in selected cases. The supracerebellar infratentorial approach is a widely preferred approach for such region.

Methods: After approval of the local ethics committee of Alexandria University and acquisition of the appropriate formal consents according to the committee’s standards, we have reviewed the records of fifteen cases presenting with pineal region tumors in Alexandria main university hospital from 2013 to 2016. The mean age at the diagnosis was 14 years (2–54 years). All cases had supracerebellar infratentorial approach for surgical resection. Follow up period was from 12 to 59 months.

Results: All 15 cases presented with hydrocephalus and increased intracranial pressure manifestations. Out of the 15 cases, 3 cases were germ-cell tumors, 2 cases were pineoblastomas, one parenchymal tumor with intermediate differentiation (PPID), one pineocytoma, 2 cases were anaplastic ependymomas and 6 cases were astrocytomas. Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 4 cases, subtotal resection was achieved in 7 cases and partial resection in 4 cases. Major surgical complications included severe postoperative cerebellar edema in 2 cases that required further decompression and hemorrhage in one case that has been managed conservatively.

Conclusion: In Alexandria university, the supracerebellar infratentorial approach is considered a safe approach with minimal morbidity and no surgery related mortality.

Keywords: Pineal region tumors, Tectal tumors, Supracerebellar infratentorial approach

AJOL African Journals Online