Management strategies for pediatric patients with tectal gliomas: a systematic review

Megan M.J. Bauman, Archis R. Bhandarkar, Clark R. Zheng, Cecile Riviere-cazaux, Cynthia J. Beeler, Ryan M. Naylor, David J. Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pediatric tectal gliomas generally have a benign clinical course with the majority of these observed radiologically. However, patients often need treatment for obstructive hydrocephalus and occasionally require cytotoxic therapy. Given the lack of level I data, there is a need to further characterize management strategies for these rare tumors. We have therefore performed the first systematic review comparing various management strategies. The literature was systematically searched from January 1, 2000, to July 30, 2020, to identify studies reporting treatment strategies for pediatric tectal gliomas. The systematic review included 355 patients from 14 studies. Abnormal ocular findings—including gaze palsies, papilledema, diplopia, and visual field changes—were a common presentation with between 13.6 and 88.9% of patients experiencing such findings. CSF diversion was the most performed procedure, occurring in 317 patients (89.3%). In individual studies, use of CSF diversion ranged from 73.1 to 100.0%. For management options, 232 patients were radiologically monitored (65.4%), 69 received resection (19.4%), 30 received radiotherapy (8.4%), and 19 received chemotherapy (5.4%). When examining frequencies within individual studies, chemotherapy ranged from 2.5 to 29.6% and radiotherapy ranged from 2.5 to 28.6%. Resection was the most variable treatment option between individual studies, ranging from 2.3 to 100.0%. Most tectal gliomas in the pediatric population can be observed through radiographic surveillance and CSF diversion. Other forms of management (i.e., chemotherapy and radiotherapy) are warranted for more aggressive tumors demonstrating radiological progression. Surgical resection should be reserved for large tumors and/or those that are refractory to other treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1039
Number of pages9
JournalNeurosurgical Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Management
  • Pediatric
  • Systematic review
  • Tectal gliomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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