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About Choroid Plexus Tumors

Choroid plexus tumors arise in the brain structures that produce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Common surgical treatments include craniotomy, endoscopic craniotomy and shunt placement.

Although these tumors can appear in any of the brain’s ventricles, they tend to develop in the fourth ventricle among adults and in lateral ventricles among children. In any of these locations, tumors arising along the choroid plexus can block the circulation of CSF and even cause the overproduction of CSF, leading to hydrocephalus and increased intracranial pressure.

There are two types of choroid plexus tumors, and they can be assigned numerical grades on the basis of how abnormal their tumor cells are. The more abnormal the cells, the higher the grade.

  • Choroid plexus papillomas represent about 80 to 90 percent of choroid plexus tumors and are usually benign, slow-growing Grade I or II tumors.
  • Choroid plexus carcinomas, accounting for the remaining 10 to 20 percent of choroid plexus tumors, are malignant and grow more quickly than choroid plexus papillomas. These are Grade III and can invade surrounding brain tissue.

Both types of tumors can compress brain tissue as they expand and grow. Circulating CSF may pick up tumor cells, allowing them to metastasize to other areas in the brain or spine—particularly in the case of choroid plexus carcinomas.

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