Analysis of surgical and MRI factors associated with cerebellar mutism
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The surgical risk factors and neuro-imaging characteristics associated with cerebellar mutism (CM) remain unclear and require further investigation. Therefore, we aimed to examine surgical and MRI findings associated with CM in children following posterior fossa tumor resection. Using our data registry, we retrospectively collected data from pediatric patients who acquired CM and were matched based on age and pathology type with individuals who did not acquire CM after posterior fossa surgery. The strength of association between surgical and MRI variables and CM were examined using odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A total of 22 patients (11 with and 11 without CM) were included. Medulloblastoma was the most common pathology among CM patients (91%); the remaining 9% were diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma. Tumor attachment to the floor of the fourth ventricle (OR 6; 95% CI 0.7-276), calcification/hemosiderin deposition (OR 7; 95% CI 0.9-315.5), and post-operative peri-ventricular ischemia on MRI (OR 5; 95% CI 0.5-236.5) were found to have the highest measures of association with CM. Our results may suggest that tumor attachment to the floor of the fourth ventricle, pathological calcification, and post-operative ischemia have a relatively higher prevalence in patients with CM. Collectively, our work calls for a larger multi-institutional cohort study of CM patients to encourage further investigation of the determinants and management of CM in order to potentially minimize its development and predict onset.
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