Diencephalic syndrome and brain tumours: a rare cause of growth failure

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Maria Scalzone
Paola Coccia
Antonio Ruggero
Ilaria Lazzareschi
Stefano Mastrangelo
Riccardo Riccardi


failure to thrive, diencephalic syndrome, hypotalamic gliomas


Diencephalic syndrome (DS) is a relative rare disease characterized by a complex of signs and symptoms secondary to hypothalamic dysfunction. In most cases, this disease is due to low grade gliomas of the anterior hypothalamus or optic nerve. These tumours associated with DS seem to have a more aggressive behaviour than others astrocytomas located in the anterior hypothalamic region. This syndrome should be considered in the differential diagnosis of children with growth failure. It is a condition commonly observed by primary care physicians and it is extremely important to recognize it because of the severity of the conditions which may be associated with it.


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