Object. The authors report the results of long-term follow-ups in 12 patients with intracranial germinomas who underwent neuroendoscopic procedures before chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and discuss the usefulness and safety of these procedures. Methods. Between January 1996 and December 2005 at Kyushu University Hospital, 12 patients with intracranial germinomas underwent neuroendoscopic biopsy procedures involving a flexible fiberscope. Eight patients simultaneously underwent endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for existing obstructive hydrocephalus. All patients received chemotherapy and radiotherapy postoperatively, according to the regimen promulgated by the Japanese Pediatric Brain Tumor Study Group. The patients were followed for an average of 78.6 months (range 15-134 months), and a retrospective study was conducted. Results. Germinomas were histologically verified in all patients. No postoperative deaths or permanent morbidity was related to the neuroendoscopic procedures. No other cerebrospinal fluid diversion, such as that achieved with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, was needed for the management of hydrocephalus. A complete response to postoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy was achieved in all cases. Only one patient had a recurrent lesion in the spinal cord 6 years after the initial treatment; however, this patient had undergone only the neuroendoscopic biopsy procedure without ETV. Conclusions. Neuroendoscopic procedures can permit a precise histological diagnosis of intracranial germinomas and are safe and effective in the management of hydrocephalus associated with these tumors. The risk of tumor dissemination due to the neuroendoscopic procedures appears to be minimal when the appropriate chemotherapy and radiotherapy are provided postoperatively.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology