Infratentorial Ependymomas in Children Homepage

Author

Mostada El Khashab, M.D.

Section Editor

David Sandberg, M.D.

Editor in Chief

Rick Abbott, M.D.

Introduction

Ependymomas occur along the neuraxis, typically within or close to the ventricles or subarachnoid space. The most common intracranial location is infratentorial.  In the posterior fossa, ependymomas originate from the epithelial lining of the fourth ventricle or from the lateral recesses and extend into the surrounding structures through the foramina of Luschka into the cerebellopontine angle cisterns or through the foramen of Magendie into the cisterna magna. Metastasis via the CSF, especially to the spinal canal, is common (1).

Key Points

  • Prognosis dependent on extent of resection: The single most important factor affecting the prognosis of patients with infratentorial ependymomas is the degree of resection of the tumor. 
  • Radiation improves survival: Postoperative radiation therapy improves survival for patients with infratentorial ependymomas.
  • Chemotherapy less effective: Chemotherapy is less effective than radiation therapy for infratentorial ependymomas but may improve outcome in some patients.