How are tectal gliomas classified?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a grading scale of tumors according to their appearance under a microscope and other factors. These grades are useful for predicting how the tumor will progress.
Using the WHO scoring system, in ascending order of severity, tumors are graded as:
- grade I (benign)
- grade II (atypical)
- grade III (anaplastic – refers to lack of structure in the cell)
- grade IV (sarcomatous – the most serious kind of tumor)
Tectal gliomas are classified as grade I or grade II tumors.
What causes a tectal glioma?
These tumors tend to develop spontaneously, meaning that there is no identifiable cause, and no genetic link has been established.
What are the symptoms of a tectal glioma?
Since these tumors grow relatively slowly, your child may see the doctor with symptoms that may have been occurring for many months, or symptoms may come on rapidly. While each child may experience symptoms differently, some of the most common include:
- symptoms of increased pressure within the brain, such as:
- abnormal eye movements and difficulties with walking
The symptoms of a tectal glioma may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.