Testing & Diagnosis for Thalamic Astrocytoma and Hypothalamic Astrocytoma in Children

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Contact the Glioma Program

The first step in treating your child’s astrocytoma is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. Your child’s physician may order a number of different tests to best diagnose the tumor, in order to see exactly where it is and whether or how far it has spread. In addition to a physical exam, a medical history and neurological exam (which tests reflexes, muscle strength, eye and mouth movement, coordination and alertness), your child’s doctor may request tests including:

  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of the brain and spine.
  • biopsy: In many cases, a tissue sample from the tumor will be taken through a needle during a simple surgical procedure to confirm the diagnosis.

After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then, we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944