Intraventricular Tumors and Lesions
Overview

The ventricles of the brain are structures that contain cerebrospinal fluid, which is a colorless bodily fluid that helps to support and cushion the brain as well as the spinal cord. Sometimes tumors form inside these ventricles, which are called intraventricular tumors. Traditionally these tumors are non malignant, but they can increase in size and block the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid through the ventricles which can put pressure on the brain and skull.

 

Intraventricular tumors and lesions include:

 

Colloid cysts – form from developmental cells

Subependymomas – develop from the linings of the ventricles

Central neurocytomas - arise from the septum pellucidum or the ventricular wall

Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGA) – form from supporting cells in the brain

Choroid plexus tumors – arise from the choroids plexus, tissue located in the ventricles

Meningiomas – tumors of the protective covering of the brain

Symptoms

Patients who have intraventricular tumors and lesions can suffer from headaches, naseau and vomiting, changes in personality, numbness in extremities, problems with speech, vision and memory, seizures, and permanent neurological problems.

Diagnosis

A complete medical background check is necessary. Once that is conducted then imaging tests such as an MRI and a CT are ordered. In these tests an agent is given intravenously to produce a contrast that helps to see the tumor and determine precisely where the tumor is located inside the cranium. Once these images are taken and the severity of the tumor is known the patient will then begin with the specified treatment.

Treatment

Intraventricular tumors are surgically removed to alleviate the pressure caused by the obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid flow. Neuroendoport® Surgery offers a minimally invasive option for tumors within the ventricles (fluid spaces) or deep-seated tumors within the substance of the brain. A narrow tube or port allows doctors to access these tumors through a tiny incision in the scalp, in contrast to traditional brain surgery.

At UPMC, we take a 360° Approach to treatment when evaluating each patient—looking at their conditions from every direction—to find the path that is least disruptive to the patient's brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning. Our neurosurgical team may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches to maximize the benefits of surgery while minimizing risks.

Prognosis

Generally treatment for intraventricular tumors and lesions involves endoscopic surgery. In this instance a tiny incision is made in the patient’s scalp and minuscule cameras and instruments are fed through a tube or port that is inserted in the incision. At this time the tumors are found in the ventricles and they are removed in order to alleviate pressure and allow the cerebrospinal fluid to flow freely. Often during the surgery a biopsy of the ventricle tissue is also performed to verify the type of tumor it is and also to find out if it is malignant or benign to best determine post surgery treatment. After surgery radiation and/or chemotherapy might be needed to eliminate any residual tumor or cancerous cells. In some cases in which the tumor is small a highly focused beam of radiation, called stereotactic radiosurgery, is used to target the cancerous cells while leaving the rest of the brain untouched.

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