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      Childhood Craniopharyngioma

      Hormone Research in Paediatrics

      S. Karger AG

      Irradiation, Hypothalamus, Craniopharyngioma, Obesity, Quality of life

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          Background: Craniopharyngioma are embryogenic malformations of the sellar area. With an overall incidence of 0.5–2 new cases per million population per year, 30–50% of all cases occur in childhood. Overall survival rates are high. However, quality of life (QoL) is substantially reduced in many survivors due to sequelae such as extreme obesity caused by hypothalamic lesions. Methods: Based on retrospective analysis of 306 patients with childhood craniopharyngioma (HIT ENDO), we found that QoL was negatively related to hypothalamic involvement, tumor size and the number of neurosurgical interventions. Results: Irradiation had no significant impact on long-term QoL. The prospective surveillance of 98 patients in KRANIOPHARYNGEOM 2000 revealed frequent and early events in terms of tumor relapse after apparently complete resection (EFS: 0.60 ± 0.09 at 3 years) and tumor progression after incomplete resection (EFS: 0.22 ± 0.09). Conclusion: We conclude that radical surgery in patients with hypothalamic involvement has a major negative impact on long-term QoL. Innovative treatment strategies are warranted to improve QoL in these patients at risk. Accordingly, the appropriate time point of irradiation after incomplete resection will be analyzed in KRANIOPHARYNGEOM 2007.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Features of the metabolic syndrome after childhood craniopharyngioma.

          Obesity and multiple pituitary hormone deficiency are common complications after surgery for childhood craniopharyngioma. We hypothesized that post craniopharyngioma surgery, children are at high risk for the metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance due to excess weight gain and GH deficiency. This study characterized body composition (anthropometry and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) and metabolic outcomes in 15 children (10 males and 5 females; age, 12.2 yr; range, 7.2-18.5 yr) after surgical removal of craniopharyngioma. In 9 subjects, outcomes were compared with those of healthy age-, sex-, body mass index-, and pubertal stage-matched controls. Insulin sensitivity was measured by 40-min iv glucose tolerance test. Seventy-three percent of subjects were overweight or obese. Sixty-six percent had normal growth velocity without GH treatment. Subjects had increased abdominal adiposity (P = 0.008) compared with controls. However, there was no significant difference in total body fat. Subjects had higher fasting triglycerides (P = 0.02) and lower high density lipoprotein cholesterol to total cholesterol ratio (P = 0.015). Insulin sensitivity was equally reduced for subjects and controls (P = 0.86). After craniopharyngioma removal, patients had more features of the metabolic syndrome compared with controls. This could be a result of hypothalamic damage causing obesity and GH deficiency. Further studies exploring predictors of the metabolic syndrome after craniopharyngioma surgery are required.
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            Reduced sympathetic metabolites in urine of obese patients with craniopharyngioma.

            Severe obesity is a major problem in patients suffering from craniopharyngioma (CP), a benign tumor located in pituitary and hypothalamic regions. In this study, the hypothesis that hypothalamic damage leads to a reduction in overall sympathetic tone was tested. Catecholamines, as well as their metabolites homovanillic acid (HVA) and vanillylmandelic acid (VMA), markers of catecholamine turnover, were measured in morning voided urine of 109 patients participating in a German pediatric CP study, and their physical activity was analyzed using a questionnaire. HVA and VMA results were compared with age-matched HVA and VMA in urine of patients proven to not have a catecholamine-secreting tumor. Patients with the most severe obesity displayed the lowest urine HVA and VMA values. Patients with hypothalamic CP had 3.2-fold higher BMI values (p<0.0001), lower HVA (0.72-fold, p<0.001), and VMA (0.84-fold, p<0.01) values, and significantly lower activity scores than those without hypothalamic involvement, but their epinephrine- and norepinephrine/creatinine ratios were not significantly different, possibly due to low levels. The low HVA and VMA values suggest decreased sympathetic outflow contributing to reduced physical activity and severe obesity, especially in patients with a hypothalamic tumor. In further studies investigating treatment options for hypothalamic obesity, disturbed sympathetic tone should be considered.
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              Obesity in childhood craniopharyngioma: relation to post-operative hypothalamic damage shown by magnetic resonance imaging

               C J De Vile (1996)

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                April 2008
                21 January 2008
                : 69
                : 4
                : 193-202
                Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Klinikum Oldenburg GmbH, Oldenburg, Germany
                113019 Horm Res 2008;69:193–202
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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