Glial tumors which develop from the ependymal cells within the central nervous system are called ependymomas. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are four classifications of ependymomas measured by three grades:

  • Grade I: Myxopapillary ependymoma, subependymoma
  • Grade II: Ependymomas with cellular, papillary and clear cell variants
  • Grade III: Anaplastic ependymoma

Clinical History

Symptoms may vary due to the age of the patient and location of the brain tumor. Reported symptoms include:

  • A pattern of progressive fatigue, migraines and nausea are experienced following an obstructive hydrocephalus, which causes intracranial pressure in children with masses in the fourth ventricle. This may also lead to multiple cranial-nerve palsies as well as cerebellar dysfunction when the mass spreads across the bottom of the fourth ventricle.
  • Enlarged head circumference following an obstructive hydrocephalus could be part of the clinical history of children who present prior to the closure of cranial sutures.
  • Supratentorial ependymomas may be associated with headaches which are more frequent and severe in the morning or after first awakening. Increased intracranial pressure can manifest itself as nausea, vomiting and cognitive impairment along with migraines. Intensity of headaches may vary.
  • Noticeable differences in personality, mood and concentration can be early warning signs or may be the only symptoms detected. 20% of patients have reported seizures. The presence of focal neurologic deficits may appear.
  • A history of progressive neurological deficits are tied to spinal ependymomas. They typically involve ascending or descending nerve tracts, exiting peripheral nerves and a correlation of pain along lesion levels.
  • Distribution of tumor mass through cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been reported in less than 10% of those who are not diagnosed with ependymoblastomas. Frequencies are higher with infratentorial ependymomas (9%) than with supratentorial tumors (1.6%).

Reassurance and Quality Care from Skilled Neurosurgeons

Our expert neurosurgical team in New Jersey is skilled and experienced in tumor resection procedures and guiding patients through management of the condition. You or your loved one deserve detailed explanations of treatment options and surgical procedures for the brain condition. A diagnosis of a primary malignant brain tumor requires swift action, so contact us at 908-219-9673.