Prevalence of primary central nervous system tumors in Iran: a retrospective study

Main Article Content

Ali Amini Harandi
Elham Zarifi
Mohammad Reza Shahmohammadi


Tumors are the second-most common cause of death after cardiovascular diseases. Brain tumors are really different regarding location, symptoms and signs. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of different primary brain tumors in Iran.

This cross-sectional study analyzed the medical records of patients with primary brain tumor referred to university hospitals between January 2016 and January 2017. By examining the hospitalization records, clinical symptoms, pathological and imaging findings, data was collected on age, sex, hand dominance, type of tumor, and the involved hemisphere. A chi-square test of independence was used to analyze the relationship between hand dominance and tumor grade. P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

In total, 1113 patients with brain tumor with mean age of 41.89 ± 18.06 years, including 708 males (63.6%), were studied in Tehran, Iran. The most common brain tumors were glioblastoma with a frequency of 330 (29.6%) and astrocytoma 183 (16.4%). The rarest tumor types are ependymoblastoma with a frequency of 14 (1.3%). Overall, 551 (49.5%) patients had left hemisphere and 459 (41.2%) had right hemisphere involvement. There was no significant relationship between hand dominance and tumor grade (p>0.05).

Brain tumors are more common in the fourth and fifth decades of life, and glioblastoma and astrocytoma tumors are the most common brain tumors. The sex distribution of these patients in the present study shows a higher prevalence in men. There was a significant relationship between the hand dominance in patients and contralateral hemisphere involvement.

Article Details

How to Cite
Amini Harandi, A. ., Zarifi, E., & Shahmohammadi, M. R. . (2023). Prevalence of primary central nervous system tumors in Iran: a retrospective study. Universa Medicina, 42(2), 206–213.
Original Articles


Siegel RL, Miller KD, Wagle NS, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2023. CA Cancer J Clin 2023;73:17-48. doi: 10.3322/caac.21763.

Zhao F, Wu T, Wang LM, et al. Survival and prognostic factors of adult intracranial ependymoma: a single-institutional analysis of 236 patients. Am J Surg Pathol 2021;45:979-87. doi:10.1097/PAS.0000000000001669.

Garcia MR, Feng Y, Vasudevaraja V, et al.. Clinical, pathological, and molecular characteristics of diffuse spinal cord gliomas. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2022;81:865-72. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nlac075.

Lamba N, Groves A, Torre M, Yeo KK, Iorgulescu JB. The epidemiology of primary and metastatic brain tumors in infancy through childhood. Neuro Oncol 2022;156:419-29. doi: 10.1007/s11060-021-03927-z.

Johnson DR, Guerin JB, Giannini C, Morris JM, Eckel LJ, Kaufmann TJ. 2016 updates to the WHO brain tumor classification system: what the radiologist needs to know. Radiographics 2017;37:2164-80.doi: 10.1148/rg.2017170037.

Louis DN, Perry A, Wesseling P, et al. The 2021 WHO Classification of tumors of the central nervous system: a summary. Neuro Oncol 2021;23:1231–51. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noab106.

Miller KD, Ostrom QT, Kruchko C, et al. Brain and other central nervous system tumor statistics, 2021. CA CANCER J CLIN 2021;71:381-406. doi: 10.3322/caac.21693.

Ostrom QT, Francis SS, Barnholtz-Sloan JS. Epidemiology of brain and other CNS tumors. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2021;21:68. doi: 10.1007/s11910-021-01152-9.

Soon WC, Goacher E, Solanki S, et al. The role of sex genotype in paediatric CNS tumour incidence and survival. Childs Nerv Syst 2021;37:2177-86. doi: 10.1007/s00381-021-05165-0.

Salehpour F, Mirzaei F, Meshkini A, Parsay S, Salehi S, Asl MM. Trends in primary brain tumors: a 5-year retrospective histologically confirmed study in Tabriz, Iran, 2011–2016. Asian J Neurosurg 2019;14:427-31. doi: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_212_18.

Tolou-Ghamari, Z. Preliminary study of central nervous system tumors’ prevalence and incidence in Isfahan Province Iran. J Egypt Natl Canc Inst 2020;32:14. doi:10.1186/s43046-020-00022-8.

de Robles P, Fiest KM, Frolkis AD, et al. The worldwide incidence and prevalence of primary brain tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuro Oncol 2015;17:776-83.doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nou283.

World Health Organization. International classification of diseases for oncology (ICD-O). 3rd ed., 1st revision. Geneva: World Health Organization;2013.

Dho YS, Jung KW, Ha J, et al. An updated nationwide epidemiology of primary brain tumors in Republic of Korea, 2013. Brain Tumor Res Treat 2017; 5:16-23. doi: 10.14791/btrt.2017.5.1.16.

Mehrvar A, Faranoush M, Hedayati Asl AA,et al. Childhood central nervous system tumors at MAHAK’s Pediatric Cancer Treatment and Research Center (MPCTRC), Tehran, Iran. Childs Nerv Syst 2014;30:491-6. doi: 10.1007/s00381-013-2256-8.

Garcia CR, Slone SA, Dolecek TA, Huang B, Neltner JH, Villano JL. Primary central nervous system tumor treatment and survival in the United States, 2004–2015. J Neurooncol 2019;144:179-91.doi: 10.1007/s11060-019-03218-8.

Araghi M, Roshandel G, Hasanpour-Heidari S, et al. Incidence of malignant brain and central nervous system tumors in Golestan, Iran, 2004-2013. Arch Iran Med 2020;23:1-6.

Jazayeri SB, Rahimi-Movaghar V, Shokraneh F, Saadat S, Ramezani R. Epidemiology of primary CNS tumors in Iran: a systematic review. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013;14:3979-85. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.6.3979.

Beygi S, Saadat S, Jazayeri SB, Rahimi-Movaghar V. Epidemiology of pediatric primary malignant central nervous system tumors in Iran: a 10 year report of National Cancer Registry. Cancer Epidemiol 2013;37:396-401.doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2013.03.002.

Boschetti G, Santos AJ, Fermon KP, et al. Adult pilocytic astrocytomas: a Brazilian series. World Neurosurg 2020;133:e115-e20. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.08.146.

Ostrom QT, Cioffi G, Gittleman H, et a.. CBTRUS statistical report: primary brain and other central nervous system tumors diagnosed in the United States in 2012-2016. Neuro Oncol 2019;21(Suppl 5):v1-v100. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noz150.

Zahir ST, Vakili M, Navabii H, Rahmani K. Clinicopathological findings and five year survival rates for patients with central nervous system tumors in Yazd, Iran. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014;15:10319-23. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.23.10319.

Huang Q, Li F, Chen Y, Hong F, Wang H, Chen J. Prognostic factors and clinical outcomes in adult primary gliosarcoma patients: a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) analysis from 2004 to 2015. Br J Neurosurg 2020:34:161-7. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2019.1699903.