Gliomas can range in malignancy from low grade and slow growing, to high grade, poorly differentiated malignant tumors (known as glioblastoma multiforme).
These tumors arise from the supporting cells of the brain (glial cells) and include:
|Astrocytoma||Piriform area, convexity of cerebral hemispheres, thalamus, hypothalamus||Common|
|Glioblastoma||Piriform area, convexity of cerebral hemispheres, thalamus, hypothalamus||Uncommon|
|Microgliomatosis (Gliomatosis cerebria)||Periventricular areas, especially in cerebral hemispheres||Common|
|Spongioblastoma||Variable, eg, ependymal surfaces, cerebellum, optic nerve and tracts||Rare|
Clinically affected dogs are usually middle-aged but can occur from 6 months of age and symptoms may include seizures, cranial nerve deficits, circling, ataxia and varying degrees of hemiparesis.
A presumptive diagnosis can be made on presenting clinical signs and MRI or CT imaging studies which usually reveal a localized mass within the cerebrum or cerebellum.
Definitive diagnosis requires histological examination of tissue biopsies, often obtained during surgical extirpation.
The glioblastoma multiforme are among the most aggressive of all malignancies in dogs and are difficult to treat and generally considered incurable with singular or multimodal therapies.
Palliative therapy with parenteral dexamethasone or oral prednisolone may temporarily abate clinical symptoms but curative therapy involves surgical debulking (if possible), followed by chemotherapy (such as lomustine) and radiation therapy.
Prognosis is variable depending on the type of glioma involved and duration of growth, but canine intra-axial gliomas is generally poor.
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