Tectal Gliomas

Also known as: tectal plate glioma, childhood brainstem glioma, midbrain tumor, intrinsic glioma, focal glioma and others.

What are tectal gliomas?

A tectal glioma (from a type of glial cell that nourishes and supports other brain cells) is a slow growing, generally benign (non-spreading), brain tumor in children 3-16 years of age, situated in the upper portion or roof of the brain stem. This area of the brain controls important body functions like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

What causes tectal gliomas? 

The exact cause of a tectal glioma is not clear.

What are the symptoms of tectal gliomas?

Symptoms can include:

  • clumsiness
  • difficulty walking
  • weakness of an arm or leg
  • double vision
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • tilting of the head
  • face muscle weakness

What are tectal glioma care options?

Treatment tends to be complex and frequently involves multiple pediatric subspecialists including neurosurgery, neurology, oncology/chemotherapy and other drug therapies (like corticosteroids), radiology and radiation oncology, and neuropathology.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: May 02, 2022 04:54 PM

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