Gangliogliomas: clinical, radiological, and histopathological findings in 51 patients.
Clinical, radiological, and histopathological features of 51 surgically treated gangliogliomas were evaluated retrospectively. The most common presenting symptoms were epileptic seizures (47 patients (92%)). Focal neurological deficits occurred in 8% of the patients. The duration of symptoms at the time of operation ranged from three months to 45 years, mean 11 years. The temporal lobe was affected in 43 patients (84%), the frontal lobe in five patients (10%), and the occipital lobe in one patient (2%). Two of the tumours (4%) were localised infratentorially. On MRI, solid tumour parts usually showed a pronounced signal increase on proton density images and a less pronounced signal increase on T2 weighted images, whereas solid components were mainly isointense on T1 weighted images. Contrast enhancement was noted in 16 of 36 patients (44%). Cystic tumour parts were found in 23 of 40 patients (57%), all characterised by signal increase on T2 weighted images and decreased T1 signals. Signal deviation of cystic tumour parts on proton density images was variable. Computed tomography was performed in 17 patients and showed hypodense lesions in 10 (59%), and calcifications in seven (41%) cases. Surgery included complete tumour removal in 44 patients (86%) and partial resection in seven (14%). In six patients (12%) there were transient postoperative complications. One patient (2%) died postoperatively due to pulmonary embolism. Histopathological examination of the surgical specimens showed low grade gangliogliomas in 49 cases (96%) and anaplastic gangliogliomas in two (4%). Control MRI of 31 patients with a mean follow up period of 16 months was uneventful in all but one case of an anaplastic ganglioglioma. In all patients in whom the ganglioglioma was associated with medically intractable seizures the operation resulted in complete relief of seizures or a noticeable improvement of the epilepsy.