Astrocytoma natural history

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Fahimeh Shojaei, M.D., Ammu Susheela, M.D. [2]


If left untreated, all of patients with low grade astrocytomas will have a rapid growth of the tumor similar to high grade astrocytoma and all of the patients with high grade astrocytoma will become symptomatic and deteriorate. Astrocytoma being a space occupying lesion may have following complications depending on the location of the tumor including increased intracranial pressure, cognitive dysfunction, emotional disturbances, behavioral complications, visual defects and muscle weakness. Low-grade astrocytomas (grade I [pilocytic] and grade II) have a relatively favorable prognosis, particularly for circumscribed, grade I lesions where complete excision may be possible. High-grade astrocytomas generally carry a poor prognosis in younger patients.

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis

Natural History


  • Astrocytoma being a space occupying lesion may have following complications depending on the location of the tumor:[6][7][8]


Low-grade astrocytomas

  • Young age
  • Fibrillary histology
  • Inability to obtain a complete resection

High-grade astrocytomas


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