Pediatric Central Nervous System Tumors in Nepal: Retrospective Analysis and Literature Review of Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

BACKGROUND: Central nervous system (CNS) tumors are the most common cause of cancer-related death in children. Little is known about the demographics and treatment of pediatric brain tumors in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of all pediatric patients who presented to the neurosurgical service at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal from 2009-2014 and collected information on patients <18 years old who received a diagnosis of a CNS tumor. We analyzed age, gender, clinical presentation, extent of surgical resection, histopathology, and length of hospital stay. We also conducted a literature review using specific terminology to capture studies of pediatric neuro-oncologic epidemiology conducted in LMICs. Study location, length of study, sample size, study type, and occurrence of 4 common pediatric brain tumors were extracted. RESULTS: We identified 39 cases of pediatric CNS tumors, with 62.5% observed in male children. We found that male children (median = 13 years) presented later than female children (median = 8 years). The most frequently observed pediatric brain tumor type was ependymoma (17.5%), followed by astrocytoma (15%) and medulloblastoma (15%). Surgical resection was performed for 80% of cases, and gross total resection reported in 62.9% of all surgeries. More than half (54.1%) of patients had symptoms for more than 28 days before seeking treatment. Symptomatic hydrocephalus was noted in 57.1% of children who presented with CNS tumors. The literature review yielded studies from 18 countries. Study length ranged from 2-20 years, and sample sizes varied from 35-1948. Overall, we found more pronounced variation in the relative frequencies of the most common pediatric brain tumors, compared with high-income countries. CONCLUSIONS: We present the first operative series of childhood CNS tumors in Nepal. Children often had delayed diagnosis and treatment of a tumor, despite symptoms. More comprehensive data are required to develop improved treatment and management algorithms in the context of a given country's demographics and medical capabilities for childhood CNS tumors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Azad, TD; Shrestha, RK; Vaca, S; Niyaf, A; Pradhananga, A; Sedain, G; Sharma, MR; Shilpakar, SK; Grant, GA

Published Date

  • December 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 84 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1832 - 1837

PubMed ID

  • 26283488

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2015.07.074

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States