What are physical findings characteristic of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2019
  • Author: Jeffrey N Bruce, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert H Engelhard, III, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS  more...
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Answer

Neurologic symptoms and signs affecting patients with glioblastomas can be either general or focal and reflect the location of the tumor. General symptoms include headaches, nausea and vomiting, personality changes, and slowing of cognitive function. Note the following:

  • Headaches can vary in intensity and quality, and they frequently are more severe in the early morning or upon first awakening.
  • Changes in personality, mood, mental capacity, and concentration can be early indicators or may be the only abnormalities observed.
  • Focal signs include hemiparesis, sensory loss, visual loss, aphasia, and others.
  • Seizures are a presenting symptom in approximately 20% of patients with supratentorial brain tumors.

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