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Physical function, body mass index, and fitness outcomes in children, adolescents, and emerging adults with craniopharyngioma from proton therapy through five years of follow-up

J Neurooncol. 2022 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s11060-022-04116-2. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Children diagnosed with craniopharyngioma are vulnerable to adverse health outcomes. Characterization of body mass index (BMI), physical function, and cardiopulmonary fitness in those treated with proton radiotherapy (PRT) will serve to design interventions to improve outcomes.

METHODS: Ninety-four children with craniopharyngioma completed physical function testing prior to PRT and annually for 5 years. For each outcome, age- and sex-specific z-scores were calculated using normative values. Participants with z-scores > 1.5 or < – 1.5 were classified as impaired. Those with z-scores > 2.0 or < – 2.0 were classified as significantly impaired. Descriptive statistics were used to describe study outcomes and change in prevalence of impairments from 2 to 5 years after treatment.

RESULTS: Nearly half of participants [45.2%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 39.4, 51.0] had mean BMI z-scores > 1.5 at baseline, with prevalence increasing to 66.7% (95% CI 61.5, 71.9) at 5 years. More than half of participants (54.2%, 95% CI 48.4, 60.0) had knee extension strength z-scores < – 1.5 at baseline, with prevalence increasing to 81.3% (95% CI 77.7, 84.9) at 5 years. BMI and knee extension strength had the largest proportion of participants impaired at both 2 and 5 years (53.2% and 62.3%, respectively). Resting heart rate had the highest proportion of participants not impaired at 2 years but became impaired at 5 years (26.6%).

CONCLUSIONS: Children with craniopharyngioma have BMI and fitness abnormalities at diagnosis and continue 5 years after treatment. This cohort may benefit from interventions designed to improve BMI, strength, and resting indicators of cardiopulmonary fitness.

PMID:35987949 | DOI:10.1007/s11060-022-04116-2

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