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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Brain Tumors

Question: Child with morning headaches and vomiting

 stevie13wonder - Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:59 pm

My 11 year old son has been waking up with headaches for about 2 months now. Some mornings he vomits as well. He says his head feels very heavy and he has troubling holding it up. This seems to get better about 2 hours after he wakes up. He also has blurry vision in his left eye. He seems to walk funny when he has a headache but walks and exercises fine when the headache is gone. He also gets headaches while exercising sometimes. I mentioned this to his pediatrician because I thought it was anxiety as it happens about every 3 or 4 days. He became quite concerned and ordered a CT Scan and had it done the next day. The results are being read by a specialist right now and we won't have them until next week because his doctor is away till then. My questions are:
1. The radiologist looked at the first scans and then ordered a dye to be injected and he did another scan. Is this a bad sign?
2. I watched the monitor and saw white spots on the scan. What could these be?
3. How accurate is a CT scan for catching all brain tumours in children?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:24 pm

User avatar Hello,

Headache is a symptom seen in common childhood illnesses like ear and sinus infections. Headache can also be a symptom of more serious conditions like intracranial space occupying lesions either a benign or a malignant mass. This is usually associated with other symptoms like vomiting and blurring of vision. This triad is known as symptoms of increased intracranial tension.

These symptoms are not diagnostic for brain tumour and may be shared by other causes like intracranial haemorrhage following trauma especially in individuals with congenital vascular malformations.

The tests of choice are MRI or CT -brain. These tests are very sensetive but only a biopsy and a pathological evaluation can confirm the nature of any abnormal mass or tissue.

His physician wanted to exclude intracranial haemorrhage by a non contrast CT of the brain.
A contrast dye makes any suspicious mass appears more bright and also allow better imaging of the blood vessels of the head and brain.

I advise you to follow up with is doctor.
Hope you find this information useful.
Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

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