Long-term sequelae after pediatric brain tumors: Their effect on disability and quality of life

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Abstract

In an unselected series of pediatric brain tumors, 56 of 60 long-term survivors—craniopharyngiomas and pituitary tumors excluded–were investigated and interviewed × = 10 (5–16) years after diagnosis. After this time, sequelae were stable and included cognitive (38%), motor (25%), visual (20%), hormonal (20%), and psychological-emotional (14%) dysfunction. Memory dysfunction was found in 22% of patients with normal intelligence. Moderate or severe disability, from combinations of these impairments, was found in 34%. Sixty-six percent had no or mild disability compatible with active life and employment. However, these patients less often were married or had children compared with a control group of healthy subjects. Moderate and severe disability was found in 48% of supra- and in 21% of infratentorial tumors, after radiotherapy (RT) in 55% vs. without RT in 18%. RT before 6 years of age caused subnormal IQ in all cases. The self-reported quality of life was not related to degree of disability. Patients with psychological-emotional sequelae self-evaluated their quality of life lower than did patients with other types of long-term sequelae.

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