Cognitive functioning in a cohort of high grade glioma patients


  • Andreja Škufca Smrdel
  • Anja Podlesek
  • Marija Skoblar Vidmar
  • Jana Markovič
  • Jana Jereb
  • Manja Kuzma Okorn
  • Uroš Smrdel


Background. High grade gliomas are associated with cognitive problems. The aim of our study is to investigate cognitive functioning in a cohort of patients with high grade glioma, according to IDH and MGMT status and other clinical characteristics.

Patients and methods. The patients with the high grade glioma treated in Slovenia in given period of time were included in study. Postoperatively they completed neuropsychological assessment consisting of Slovenian Verbal Learning Test, Slovenian Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Trail Making Test Part A and B and self evaluation questionnaire. We analyzed results (z-scores and dichotomized results) also according to IDH mutation and MGMT methylation. We examined differences between groups using T-test, Mann-Whitney U, χ2 and Kendall's Tau tests.

Results. Out of 275 patients in the cohort, we included 90. Forty-five patients were unable to participate due to poor performance status. Patients with the IDH mutation were younger, with better performance status, larger proportions of grade III tumours and MGMT methylation. In this group cognitive functioning is significantly better in the domains of immediate recall, short delayed recall and delayed recall, and in the fields of executive functioning and recognition. There were no differences in cognitive functioning in regard to MGMT status. Grade III tumours were associated with more frequent MGMT methylation. Self-assessment proved week tool, associated only with immediate recall.

Conclusions. We found no differences in cognitive functioning according to MGMT status, but cognition was better when IDH mutation was present. In a cohort study of patients with high-grade glioma, almost half were unable to participate in a study, which points to an overrepresentation of patients with better cognitive functioning in the research.




How to Cite

Škufca Smrdel, A., Podlesek, A., Skoblar Vidmar, M., Markovič, J., Jereb, J., Kuzma Okorn, M., & Smrdel, U. (2023). Cognitive functioning in a cohort of high grade glioma patients. Radiology and Oncology, 57(2), 201–210. Retrieved from