Neuropsychological Outcome in Patients with Childhood Craniopharyngioma and Hypothalamic Involvement

The Journal of pediatrics (Impact Factor: 3.79). 04/2014; 164(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.12.010


To test memory performance and executive functions in children with craniopharyngioma and hypothalamic involvement.

Study design
Using standardized neuropsychological tests, we compared cognitive performance in a group of 15 patients with childhood craniopharyngioma and known hypothalamic involvement and a group of 24 age- and intelligence-matched control subjects. In addition, we compared individual patients' results with normative data to detect abnormal performance in the clinically relevant range. Within the patient group, we further tested whether the grade of hypothalamic involvement had an impact on cognitive performance and quality of life.

Relative to healthy controls, the patients demonstrated significantly lower performance scores in tests of memory and executive functioning. On the individual performance level, delayed recall performance was severely impaired in one-third of the patients. Compared with patients with low-grade hypothalamic involvement, those with high-grade hypothalamic involvement showed worse performance in executive functions and reduced functional capabilities for daily life actions, indicating lower quality of life.

Our findings demonstrate that hypothalamic involvement is related to impairments in memory and executive functioning in patients with childhood craniopharyngioma and indicate that a high grade of hypothalamic involvement is related to worse outcomes.

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Available from: Jale Özyurt, Sep 18, 2014
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