Choroid Plexus Papilloma | Neurology & Neurosurgery | Loyola Medicine

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Choroid Plexus Papilloma

Overview and Facts about Choroid Plexus Papilloma

Choroid plexus papilloma is an extremely rare, non-cancerous brain tumor. This means it cannot spread to other parts of the body. These tumors primarily grow in the choroid plexus, a section of tissue in the brain that’s responsible for producing cerebrospinal fluid. The growth of this tumor can cause your brain to make too much cerebrospinal fluid or block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid altogether.

Generally, a choroid plexus papilloma is a slow-growing tumor, meaning it might take years for symptoms to be noticeable.

Signs and Symptoms of Choroid Plexus Papilloma

As your choroid plexus papilloma continues to grow, it will start to put pressure on different areas of the brain. This can cause the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Problems walking or balancing
  • Trouble thinking
  • Vision problems
  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body

Causes and Risk Factors of Choroid Plexus Papilloma

Choroid plexus papilloma is far more common in children than adults. In fact, this type of tumor makes up about 10 to 20 percent of brain tumors diagnosed during the first year of a child’s life.

Unfortunately, doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes a choroid plexus papilloma to form. They think it might be linked to genetic factors, certain infections, environmental factors or immune system issues, but there has not been enough research to confirm their suspicions.

Tests and Diagnosis of Choroid Plexus Papilloma

While your regular doctor can help rule out basic problems, they will probably refer you to a neurology/neurosurgery specialist for further care. This neurology specialist will conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Tests may also be conducted to get a look inside your head, including:

  • A biopsy, which involves cutting away a small part of the tumor so your doctor can look at it with a microscope
  • A CT scan to get images of your brain
  • An MRI with contrast dye to see the brain in more detail

Treatment and Care for Choroid Plexus Papilloma

The only way to cure choroid plexus papilloma is through surgery. During surgery, a neurosurgeon will remove as much of the tumor as possible. If the tumor can all be removed, there is a very low chance it will return. However, if the surgeon misses a few pieces, it can begin to grow again. If this is the case, your surgeon may perform a second surgery or focused radiosurgery to get the rest of the tumor. Long term surveillance is recommended with yearly MRI as these tumors can relapse many years later.