Hypothalamic Gliomas

  • V. V. Dolenc
Part of the Advances and Technical Standards in Neurosurgery book series (NEUROSURGERY, volume 25)


Hypothalamic gliomas are demanding intracranial lesions to deal with. Before the era of CT, a diagnosis of such lesions could be obtained by means of air studies and angiography. However, the diagnosis was only possible when the lesion had become large and clinically evident, and was interfering with the CSF circulation, thus causing hydrocephalus. In smaller lesions, in particular in those located only on one side of the IIIrd ventricle, the diagnosis was practically impossible since they mostly do not cause endocrinological or neurological disturbances. Histological studies of hypothalamic gliomas in the majority of cases reveal that the tumour is a pilocytic astrocytoma. The pilocytic astrocytoma in this region is a well-circumscribed tumorous lesion which, even when it is large, does not entirely destroy the hypothalamic functional tissue but, instead, mainly displaces and compresses it. The slow growth of pilocytic astrocytomas greatly contributes to the minimal occurrence of the clinical symptoms and signs. Since MRI has become available, the diagnosis of the hypothalamic gliomas has become much easier; however, the slight initial symptoms and signs of the hypothalamic lesions may easily be overlooked for a long time, and so MRI is not undertaken until the tumour has already become large.


Pilocytic Astrocytoma Superior Sagittal Sinus Hypothalamic Lesion Optic Glioma Mamillary Body 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. V. Dolenc
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital CentreLjubljanaSlovenia

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