|What Is a Glioma?
Where is the Pons?
What does the pons do?
What are the typical symptoms?
What does a pontine glioma look like?
What else should I know about DIPG?
At one time, all brainstem gliomas were thought to be one single entity.
As medicine evolved developing more sophisticated imaging with MRIs, it was found that brainstem gliomas were not all the same.
Tumors in the brainstem can be located in the cervicomedullary junction, the midbrain, the tectum or the pons.
Brainstem tumors can be further categorized as either diffuse intrinsic or nondiffuse. Non diffuse brainstem tumors may also be described as dorsal or exophytic.
In addition, advanced neurosurgical techniques have allowed some to enter this previously considered “inoperable” area. Although the vast majority of lesions appearing as diffuse pontine gliomas by MRI are high grade, it has been found that there may be other pathology (particularly low grade glioma).
The important point – when one is looking at information (other children’s websites, journal articles, etc) it is critical to realized what kind of tumor is being discussed.
Not all brainstem gliomas are created equal.
Brainstem gliomas at other locations may have different statistics.
Diffuse pontine gliomas have a bleaker prognosis than focal brainstem lesions.
Last update Nov. 25, 2008