The great neurosurgical masquerader: 3 cases of desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma

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1 Scopus citations


Desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma (DIG) is a rare, distinctive, supratentorial neoplasm with a generally favorable prognosis. Clinical, radiographic, and pathologic features can sometimes mimic those of a malignant tumor and other serious intracranial disorders. The author describes his experience with 3 cases of DIG, each of which initially masqueraded as another neurological disease with a very different prognosis. Case 1 was an infant boy referred for evaluation of a hemorrhagic infarction at birth. Case 2 was an infant girl referred for evaluation of a holohemispheric malignant neoplasm. Case 3 was an infant girl referred for evaluation of an intracranial mass believed to be a subdural empyema or possible sarcoma. In each case the lesion was resected and found to be a WHO grade I DIG. Each child has had a benign postoperative course. DIG can be mistaken for other serious neurological conditions including malignant neoplasm, cerebral infarction, and infection. It is prudent to consider this rare, low-grade resectable tumor in the differential diagnosis of atypical intracranial masses of childhood, as the impact on prognosis can be profound. The author discusses management strategies for DIG, including a role for molecular sequencing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-266
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • BRAF
  • Brain tumor
  • Desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma
  • Diagnosis
  • MRI
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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