BACKGROUND: Patients with pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) routinely undergo multiple procedures to ensure recurrence-free survival and are resultantly at increased risk of experiencing perioperative complications (regional, medical, and/or neurological), a combination of which has not been recorded in previous studies.
OBJECTIVE: To determine perioperative outcomes in a cohort of patients (adult and pediatric) with intracranial PXA.
METHODS: We retrospectively identified 39 patients who underwent surgery at our institution for intracranial PXA between 1994 and 2011. Demographic factors were recorded along with Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), complications, and mortality.
RESULTS: Mean patient age was 31 years at the most recent surgery. A majority of patients (24; 62%) had multiple surgeries with a mean of 2 operations per patient. Eleven PXAs (28%) were malignant (grade III or IV). Perioperative complications included permanent neurological worsening in 4 patients (10%), regional complications in 4 (10%), and medical complications in 3 (8%). Preoperative KPS was >=70 in 34 of 38 patients (89%). Long-term postoperative KPS was >=70 in 36 of 37 patients (97%), suggesting good functional outcomes. There was no perioperative mortality, but 7 patients (18%) died of tumor progression. Patients with malignant PXAs trended toward higher risk of regional complications (3 of 11 patients [27%]; P = .06), received adjuvant therapy more often (10 of 11 patients [91%]; P < .001), had higher mortality from tumor progression (7 of 11 patients [64%]; P < .001), and were significantly larger (mean, 6.05 +/- 0.73 cm standard error of the mean; n = 7; P < .01).
CONCLUSION: Both pediatric and adult PXAs may be resected with good functional outcomes. Perioperative neurological complications are relatively common, but do not affect long-term functional outcome or mortality. Malignant PXAs are higher risk for perioperative complications and, ultimately, death from tumor progression, despite increased use of adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy.
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