Prevalence of subependymal giant cell tumors in patients with tuberous sclerosis and a review of the literature

M.E.A.P.M. Adriaensen, C.M. Schaefer-Prokop, T. Stijnen, D.A.C. Duyndam, B.A. Zonnenberg and M. Prokop

European Journal of Neurology 2009;16(6):691-696



To investigate the prevalence of subependymal giant cell ependymomas (SEGA) in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).We performed a retrospective cross-sectional study in a cohort of 285 patients with known TSC. Institutional review board approval was obtained. We included all 214 TSC-patients who had received a contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain. The most recent scan was evaluated for SEGA and presence of hydrocephalus. Additionally, a literature search was performed, and pooled estimates of SEGA prevalence in TSC were calculated. We used descriptive statistics, two sample t-test, chi-squared-test, and meta-analysis as appropriate.Computed tomography showed radiological evidence of SEGA in 43 of the 214 TSC-patients (20; 23 of 105 men (22 and 20 of 109 women (18 P = .52). Average maximum tumor size was 11.4 mm (range, 4-29 mm). Patients with SEGA (mean, 31 years; range, 16-58 years) were on average younger than patients without SEGA (mean, 37 years; range, 10-72 years; P = 0.007). No association between tumor size and patient age was detected. Nine patients had bilateral SEGA. Hydrocephalus was present in six of the 43 patients (14. Meta-analysis of reported prevalence and our current study showed that studies using radiological evidence to diagnose SEGA gave a higher pooled estimate of the prevalence of SEGA in TSC (0.16; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.21) than studies using mainly histopathological evidence of SEGA (0.09; 95% CI: 0.07, 0.12).In our cohort, CT demonstrated evidence of SEGA in 20% of TSC-patients. Prevalence of SEGA in TSC is higher in studies using radiological evidence to diagnose SEGA than in studies using histopathological evidence.