Armstrong et al evaluated patients following complete resection of an ependymoma. Patients may experience significant disability despite successful treatment. The authors are from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Patient selection: ependymoma


Ependymomas may occur:

(1) in the brain

(2) in the spinal cord


Although patients with tumor recurrence tended to have more problems, patients with complete excision had significant problems afterwards.


Half of patients in the study were unable to work.


General symptoms:

(1) fatigue

(2) numbness and/or tingling

(3) pain

(4) sleep disturbances


Symptoms in patients with a brain ependymoma:

(1) altered vision

(2) difficulty concentrating

(3) weakness

(4) irritability

(5) difficulty speaking

(6) difficulty understanding others (comprehension)


Symptoms in patients with an ependymoma in the spinal cord:

(1) weakness in one or more extremities

(2) sexual dysfunction

(3) radiating pain

(4) change in bowel function


Although not mentioned, psychological distress (depression, post-traumatic stress, etc) would be expected.


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