Predictors of spine metastases at initial presentation of pediatric brain tumor patients: a single-institution study.

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PURPOSE: Given the rarity of disseminated disease at the time of initial evaluation for pediatric brain tumor patients, we sought to identify clinical and radiographic predictors of spinal metastasis (SM) at the time of presentation.

METHODS: We performed a single-institution retrospective chart review of pediatric brain tumor patients who first presented between 2004 and 2018. We extracted information regarding patient demographics, radiographic attributes, and presenting symptoms. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the association between measured variables and SMs.

RESULTS: We identified 281 patients who met our inclusion criteria, of whom 19 had SM at initial presentation (6.8%). The most common symptoms at presentation were headache (n = 12; 63.2%), nausea/vomiting (n = 16; 84.2%), and gait abnormalities (n = 8; 41.2%). Multivariate models demonstrated that intraventricular and posterior fossa tumors were more frequently associated with SM (OR: 5.28, 95% CI: 1.79-15.59, p = 0.003), with 4th ventricular (OR: 7.42, 95% CI: 1.77-31.11, p = 0.006) and cerebellar parenchymal tumor location (OR: 4.79, 95% CI: 1.17-19.63, p = 0.030) carrying the highest risk for disseminated disease. In addition, evidence of intracranial leptomeningeal enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging (OR: 46.85, 95% CI: 12.31-178.28, p < 0.001) and hydrocephalus (OR: 3.19; 95% CI: 1.06-9.58; p = 0.038) were associated with SM.

CONCLUSIONS: Intraventricular tumors and the presence of intracranial leptomeningeal disease were most frequently associated with disseminated disease at presentation. These findings are consistent with current clinical expectations and offer empirical evidence that heightened suspicion for SM may be prospectively applied to certain subsets of pediatric brain tumor patients at the time of presentation.




Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Pediatrics, Department of Surgery

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