Cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma
The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis.
How is a cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma diagnosed?
Diagnostic procedures for a cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma may include:
- physical examination - your child may have difficulty walking and coordinating movements of his hands and/or legs
- computerized tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays. For cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma, a CT scan of the brain may be done if there is evidence of blockage of spinal fluid.
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets and a computer to produce detailed images of the brain and spine.
- Biopsy or resection - in many cases, doctors take a tissue sample from the tumor through a needle during a simple surgical procedure. In other cases, the tumor is removed at the time of the initial operative procedure, often to relieve the blockage of spinal fluid flow.