Metastatic brain involvement in Ewing family of tumors in children

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To evaluate the incidence and clinical characteristics of CNS involvement in Ewing family of tumors (EF) in children.


Chart reviews of children with EF treated in our center from 1972 to 1997. Clinical and imaging data regarding possible CNS involvement were collected.


During this 25-year period, 80 children with EF were treated. Intracranial involvement was found in eight (10%) children: the brain was involved in seven children (8.8%) and a retro-orbital metastasis without parenchymal brain involvement was noted in one child. Metastases were localized intrahemispherically, or in the cerebellum or the basal ganglia. Intracranial spread was hematogenous in five children and by contiguous spread from the skull in three children. Intracranial involvement was diagnosed 1.3 to 11 years from initial presentation. Seizures and hemiparesis were the main neurologic complications.


The rate of parenchymal brain involvement in our patients with EF was 8.8%. Spread was mainly hematogenous. Substantial morbidity was associated with CNS disease, which appeared in most patients late in the course of disease.

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