A systematic review of neuropsychological outcomes following posterior fossa tumor surgery in children

Emily Hanzlik, Stacey E. Woodrome, Mohamed Abdel-Baki, Thomas J. Geller, Samer K. Elbabaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Purpose: Central nervous system tumors are the most common solid tumors in the pediatric population. As children with central nervous system (CNS) tumors are surviving into adolescence and adulthood, more research is being focused on the long-term cognitive outcomes of the survivors. This review examines the literature on different cognitive outcomes of survivors of different childhood posterior fossa CNS tumor types. Methods: The authors reviewed the literature for articles published from 2000 to 2012 about long-term neuropsychological outcomes of children diagnosed with posterior fossa brain tumors before the age of 18, which distinguished between histological tumor types, and had a minimum follow-up of 3 years. Results: The literature search returned 13 articles, and a descriptive analysis was performed comparing intelligence quotient (IQ), attention/executive function, and memory components of 456 survivors of childhood posterior fossa tumors. Four articles directly compared astrocytoma and medulloblastoma survivors and showed medulloblastoma survivors fared worse in IQ, attention/executive function, and memory measurements. Five articles reporting medulloblastomas found IQ, attention, and memory scores to be significantly below the standardized means. Articles examining astrocytoma survivors found IQ scores within the normal range for the population. Survivors of ependymomas reported 2/23 survivors impaired on IQ scores, while a second study reported a significant number of ependymoma survivors lower than the expected population norm. Conclusions: Tumor histopathology and the type of postoperative adjuvant therapy seem to have a significant impact on the long-term neuropsychological complications of pediatric posterior fossa CNS tumor survivors. Age at diagnosis and treatment factors are important variables that affect the outcomes of the survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1869-1875
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 13 2015


  • Brain tumors
  • Long-term sequelae
  • Neuropsychological outcomes
  • Pediatrics
  • Posterior fossa tumors


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of neuropsychological outcomes following posterior fossa tumor surgery in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this