Testing & Diagnosis for Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT) in Children

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How is atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor diagnosed?

We may perform a number of tests to determine the type of tumor your child has and whether it has spread. These may include:

  • physical exam - including neurologic function tests of reflexes, muscle strength, eye and mouth movement, coordination and alertness.
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body and/or spine.
  • computerized tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan) - to capture a detailed view of the body, and check for other tumors in the chest, abdomen and pelvis.
  • biopsy (or tissue sample) – a sample taken from the tumor during surgery to provide definitive information about the type of tumor
  • lumbar puncture (also called an LP or spinal tap) - to remove a small sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and determine if any tumor cells have started to spread. In young children, this procedure is often performed under sedation.
  • ultrasound to determine whether tumors have developed in other places in the body, especially the kidneys
  • genetic testingto look for a specific genetic defect often associated with AT/RT
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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