Child's Nervous System

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1511–1519 | Cite as

Surgery for subependymal giant cell astrocytomas in children with tuberous sclerosis complex

  • Martine FohlenEmail author
  • Sarah Ferrand-Sorbets
  • Olivier Delalande
  • Georg Dorfmüller
Original Paper



Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) are low-grade intraventricular glial tumors that develop in 10–15% of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex; they often cause hydrocephalus and are potentially accessible to a surgical treatment. Our aim is to evaluate morbidity and results after surgery in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.


We present a retrospective series of 18 pediatric patients operated on for SEGA between 2006 and 2016 at our institution. We reviewed surgical indications, preoperative clinical and radiologic data, surgical management, and clinical and radiological follow-up.


Mean age at surgery was 10.7 years. The surgical decision was based on clinical signs of raised intracranial pressure due to hydrocephalus in 8 and on radiological findings without any clinical signs in the other 10 patients (increased in SEGA volume with or without ventricular enlargement). Surgical treatment consisted in a frontal trans-ventricular microsurgical approach in 17 patients and an endoscopic approach in 1. External ventricular drainage was placed in all the patients but 1. Ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS) became necessary in 6 patients, all of them presenting with a preoperative active hydrocephalus. Morbidity appeared very low with meningitis occurring in 1 patient. Resection was complete in 15 children with no recurrence during a mean follow-up of 5.25 years and incomplete in 3 requiring a second surgery.


Surgery of SEGA represents a very effective treatment with low morbidity and no mortality in the present series. In patients operated before the onset of clinical signs of hydrocephalus, internal VPS could be avoided whereas in others, an additional shunt surgery became necessary. This gives arguments in favor of a regular MRI surveillance in tuberous sclerosis complex patients with SEGA in order to best propose resective surgery once a growth of tumor and/or ventricular size have been confirmed but before raised intracranial pressure occurs.


Hydrocephalus Ventriculoperitoneal shunt Pediatric Brain tumor 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martine Fohlen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Ferrand-Sorbets
    • 1
  • Olivier Delalande
    • 1
  • Georg Dorfmüller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric NeurosurgeryFondation Ophtalmologique A. de RothschildParisFrance

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