Suprasellar pilocytic astrocytoma: one national centre's experience

Tafadzwa Mandiwanza, Chandrasekaran Kaliaperumal, Ayman Khalil, Muhammad Sattar, Darach Crimmins, John Caird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Pilocytic astrocytomas in the supratentorial compartment make up 20 % of all brain tumours in children with only 5 % of these arising in the suprasellar region. Optic pathway gliomas or suprasellar gliomas are often seen in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients. Given their location, suprasellar pilocytic astrocytomas are challenging to manage surgically with high morbidity rates from surgical resection. We assess our cohort of patients with suprasellar pilocytic astrocytoma and document our experience.

METHOD: A retrospective review of patients diagnosed with suprasellar glioma between 2000-October 2012. We included patients diagnosed with optic pathway glioma based on radiological features (with or without biopsy) and those who had a biopsy confirming pilocytic astrocytoma.

RESULTS: Fifty-three patients included (sporadic tumours 24 and NF1 related 29). Fifteen sporadic and four NF1 patients were biopsied. Twelve sporadic and 13 NF1 patients were initially treated with chemotherapy while only 1 patient had radiotherapy initially. Progression was noted in 58 % of the sporadic group and 24 % of the NF1 group. The only significant factor for progression was NF1 status (p = 0.026).

CONCLUSION: Management should be guided by individual patient circumstance. In our cohort, chemotherapy did not significantly improve progression free survival; however, NF1 status significantly correlated with the decreased progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-8
Number of pages6
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Astrocytoma
  • Brain Neoplasms
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Radiotherapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


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