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Clinical Presentation


Signs and symptoms of ependymomas are related to the site of origin of the tumor.

Symptoms may be present for up to 12 months prior to diagnosis (depends on tumor location and grade).  In general though the history is longer than for a rapidly growing tumor like medulloblastoma.

Supratentorial ependymomas are generally diagnosed a little earlier than posterior fossa tumors.


Location of Ependymoma and associated symptoms:

Tumor Site Associated Symptom
Posterior fossa Symptoms related to increased intracranial pressure:
  • headaches (more severe in morning).
  • vomiting (more severe in morning)
  • papilledema
  • lethargy


Symptoms of cerebellar dysfunction:

  • ataxia
  • dysarthria
  • nystagmus
  • hypotonia



  • neck pain and stiffness (meningismus)
  • cranial nerve palsies

Symptoms related to affected cerebral area:

  • hemiparesis
  • hyperreflexia
  • visual field abnormalities
  • ataxia
  • seizures
  • cognitive impairment



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