Spectrum of skull base tumors in children and adolescents: a series of 42 patients and review of the literature

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This study aims to contribute to the collective experience with the treatment of those skull base tumors exceptionally arising in children and adolescents.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively reviewed 42 patients younger than 19 years and operated on for a skull base tumor between 1992 and 2002. We analyzed data regarding patient age, histology, tumor location, extent of resection, postoperative complications, and adjuvant therapies. Long-term outcomes were also tracked (functional sequelae, recurrence, mortality).


The median age was 13.75 years. Twenty-two patients harbored a malignant tumor. Gross total resection was achieved for 78% of cases. Transient postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak or infection affected ten patients, suggesting the need for reconstructive techniques. Nineteen patients received adjuvant therapy. Recurrence rate was 47%. At the end of the follow-up (median = 63 months), 14% of patients had a neurological deficit and 30% were dead. Middle cranial base tumors were associated with a poor prognosis.

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