Complications, compliance, and undertreatment do not explain the relationship between cognition and survival in diffuse glioma patients

Emma van Kessel, Eva A. Krijnen, Suzanne Ijpelaar, Irene M. C. Huenges Wajer, Carla Ruis, Tatjana Seute, Filip Y. F. L. de Vos, Joost J. C. Verhoeff, Pierre A. Robe, Martine J. E. van Zandvoort, Tom J. Snijders

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cognitive deficits occur in all different grades of glioma. In a recent study, we found these deficits to be independently, and possibly causally, related to survival in diffuse gliomas. In this study, we investigated whether the relationship between cognition and survival was mediated by three different factors: undertreatment, complications of treatment, and compliance. We hypothesized that patients with cognitive impairment may undergo less intensive treatment, be less compliant, and suffer more from complications, resulting in shortened survival for cognitively impaired patients. Methods: In a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing awake craniotomy between operative neuropsychological assessments in five cognitive domains. We used Structural Equation Modeling to perform mediation analyses. Mediation analyses are analyses to evaluate whether a variable is a factor in the causal chain, referred to as an intermediate factor. Results: In total 254 patients were included, of whom 111 patients were LGG patients and 143 were HGG patients. The most frequently impaired domain was memory (37.8% ≤-2 SD) in HGG and attention and executive functioning in LGG (33.3≤-1.5 SD). We confirmed the significant association between different cognitive domains and survival. These associations could not be explained by one of the aforementioned intermediate factors. Conclusions: This suggests that other mechanisms should be involved in the relation between cognition and survival. Hypothetically, cognitive functioning can act as a marker for diffuse infiltration of the tumor or cognitive functioning and survival could be determined by overlapping germline and somatic tumoral molecular-genetic factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-298
Number of pages15
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Cognition
  • Diffuse glioma
  • Mediation-Analyses
  • Survival

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