Objective: To examine the impact of malignancy and location of the cerebellar tumor on motor, cognitive, and psychologic outcome.
Background: Although many studies focus on long-term outcome after cerebellar tumor treatment in childhood, the impact of its precise location remains unclear.
Patients and Methods: Children, aged from 6 to 13 years, with a cerebellar malignant tumor (MT; MT group, n=20) or a cerebellar benign tumor (BT; BT group, n=19) were examined at least 6 months after the end of treatment using the international cooperative ataxia rating scale, the Purdue pegboard for manual skill assessment and the age-adapted Weschler scale. Structural changes in brain anatomy were evaluated and parents and teachers answered 2 independent questionnaires.
Results: Parents and teachers reported high rate of learning and academic difficulties, but without any difference with respect to the type of tumor. However, children with cerebellar MT showed increased cognitive and motor difficulties compared with children with cerebellar BT. Cerebellar signs at clinical examination and manual skill impairment were strongly associated with cognitive difficulties. Both motor and cognitive impairments were found to be associated with extension of the lesion to the dentate nuclei.
Conclusions: Dentate nuclei lesions are major risk factors of motor and cognitive impairments in both cerebellar BT and MT.