PONTINE ASTROCYTOMA

Timothy C. Hain, MD • Page last modified: August 22, 2020

Case Illustration:

This middle aged female patient developed neurologic symptoms refererable to the brainstem, and had a series of MRI scans all showing a large, infiltrative lesion involving the brainstem as shown above, with minimal changes from year-year. While it was never biopsied, the consensus of many physicians was that this is a pontine glioma - -a very slow-growing astrocytoma of the brainstem.

After seeing many physicians, one occasion, the mass was felt to be larger, and a course of radiation to the brainstem area was given. Following the radiation, the patient developed intractable dizziness.


Commentary: The purpose of radiation is to kill tumor, but it can also kill normal nervous system structures.