A huge tumor in a pregnant woman almost disappeared after childbirth
The young woman was 37 weeks pregnant, when the doctors found out she had a large education on the left side of the brain. It pressed on the brain, causing severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, periodic loss of vision. All these symptoms appeared about a month before the woman decided to finally turn to the doctors. Education was detected by MRI . Doctors could not precisely establish the nature of the tumor, it was clear one thing – it is quite aggressive. According to one version, it was a meningioma.
For unknown reasons – it is unclear whether this was the decision of doctors or the request of the patient – surgical treatment was not performed, but the patient was under the supervision of doctors from the Medical Center at the University of Loma Linda.
A month after the birth of the child, the 23-year-old patient was examined by a neurologist. She noted that her vision was normal, but headaches still tormented her. The doctors began to prepare the patient for surgery, hoping to remove the tumor. A month later, in the course of preoperative MRI, the doctors found out that the tumor had practically disappeared – it significantly decreased without any therapy.
Neurosurgeon Vikram Chakravarthy and his colleagues who nicknamed the Houdini tumor in honor of the magician, famous for his unusual tricks, studied medical literature and found out that similar cases are known to oncologists.
Meningiomas, usually appearing in people older than 60 years, occasionally develop and during pregnancy. It is possible that this is due to hormonal and other changes occurring after conception in the female body. They lead to the formation and aggressive growth of the tumor. Hormonal rearrangement again occurs after childbirth – levels of hormones and other biomarkers return to the pre-pregnancy level, which, apparently, leads to a decrease in the size of the neoplasm.
Doctors will continue to monitor the patient to make sure that the tumor will continue to decrease, and the woman’s condition will improve. Neuroscientists and oncologists are going to study possible mechanisms of developing meningiomas in pregnant women to understand how to properly lead such patients in the future.