Cerebellar radiological abnormalities in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: part 1 - clinical and neuroimaging findings

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Salman, Michael S
Hossain, Shakhawat
Alqublan, Lina
Bunge, Martin
Rozovsky, Katya
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Abstract Background Many children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) have focal abnormal signal intensities (FASI) on brain MRI, whose full clinical impact and natural history have not been studied systematically. Our aims are to describe the clinical and neuroradiological features in children with NF1 and cerebellar FASI, and report on the natural history of FASI that display atypical features such as enhancement and mass effect. Method A retrospective review of the hospital charts and brain MRIs was performed on children from Manitoba diagnosed between 1999 and 2008 with NF1, who also had cerebellar FASI on MRI. Results Fifty patients (mean age: 16.1y, minimum-maximum: 6.4 - 30y, 27 M) were identified. Mean duration of follow up was 10.1y. Developmental delay, learning disabilities, tumors, and visual signs occurred commonly. Cerebellar signs were not reported. Mean age of the patients at baseline MRI was 7.8 (SD: 4.5) years. FASI occurred in several brain locations and were rarely confined to the cerebellum. FASI displayed mass effect and enhancement infrequently but were associated with malignancy only once. The number of FASI at baseline MRI was significantly less in patients with attention deficient hyperactivity disorder and more if a first degree relative had NF1 or if they had decreased visual acuity. Discussion Patients with NF1 and cerebellar FASI do not have motor or consistent non-motor (e.g. developmental delay or learning disabilities) cerebellar features. The number of FASI may correlate with some clinical features. FASI may display enhancement and mass effect but they rarely become malignant.
Cerebellum & Ataxias. 2018 Nov 01;5(1):14