What is Mediastinal Neuroblastoma?Mediastinal neuroblastoma is a solid tumour that arises from neuroblasts, these tumour cells migrate during embryonic development along the axis of the central nervous system (i.e. the brain and spinal cord) and colonize in the mediastinum. It usually develops in children under 1 year of age.
What are neuroblasts?Neuroblasts are primitive nerve cells that make up neurons. Neurons are a fundamental structural and functional unit of the nervous system that specializes in transmitting information throughout the body.
What is Mediastinum?The mediastinum is the part of the chest or chest cavity that consists of the heart, thymus, part of the esophagus, and the trachea.
Disease Etiology (Causes) of Neuroblastoma (Mediastinum)There is no well-known cause of mediastinal neuroblastoma. However certain genetic mutations (alterations) are thought to be responsible.
Disease EpidemiologyThe incidence of mediastinal neuroblastoma is approximately 9.5 cases per million children worldwide. The five-year survival rate is approximately 55%. It is slightly more common in male children than in the female. Usually, this disease is diagnosed more often in children under 2 years of age.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Chronic dry cough
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weight loss
- Body pains
- Night sweats
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- (Computerized tomography) CT-chest and PET scan are standard imaging techniques to rule out mediastinal neuroblastoma.
- Elevated HMA and VMA
- Tumour biopsy and histopathological examination