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Childhood Central Nervous System Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Atypical Teratoid / Rhabdoid Tumor

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The symptoms of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor are not the same in every patient.

Because atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor is fast growing, symptoms may develop quickly and progress over a period of days or weeks. Symptoms vary and depend on the age of the patient and where the tumor has formed.

These symptoms may be caused by AT/RT or by other conditions. Check with a doctor if your child has any of the following problems:

  • Morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Unusual sleepiness or change in activity level.
  • Loss of balance, lack of coordination, or trouble walking.
  • Increase in head size (in infants).

Tests that examine the brain and spinal cord are used to detect (find) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

  • Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
  • Neurological exam: A series of questions and tests to check the brain, spinal cord, and nerve function. The exam checks a person's mental status, coordination, and ability to walk normally, and how well the muscles, senses, and reflexes work. This may also be called a neuro exam or a neurologic exam.
  • CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the abdomen or pelvis, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the brain and spinal cord. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
  • Lumbar puncture: A procedure used to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal column. This is done by placing a needle into the spinal column. This procedure is also called an LP or spinal tap.
  • Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. A renal ultrasound is used to check for AT/RT that may develop in the kidneys at the same time as in the brain.
  • INI1gene testing: A laboratory test in which a sample of blood or tissue is tested for the INI1 gene.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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