Key Takeaways

  • Ependymoma is a rare type of primary brain or spinal cord tumor that can occur in children and adults.
  • Common symptoms of ependymoma include headaches, seizures, and changes in vision or speech.
  • Neurological examination, imaging, and tissue sampling are the mainstays of ependymoma diagnosis.
  • Surgical resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the primary treatment options.

Ependymal cells line the ventricles of the brain and the center of the spinal cord. These cells produce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord.

Ependymoma is a glioma of ependymal origin. There are three kinds of ependymomas:

  • supratentorial ependymomas are located on the upper part of the brain.
  • posterior fossa ependymomas  are located on the underside of the brain.
  • spinal cord ependymomas  can occur at any level of the spinal cord, but they most commonly occur in the cervical (neck) and thoracic (chest) regions.