Depending on where the tumors or other lesions develop and their size, they can cause severe or life-threatening complications. Here are some examples of complications.

  • Lesions in the brain known as subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) can block the flow of cerebral spinal fluid within the brain. This blockage can cause the buildup of fluid in the cavities — ventricles — deep within the brain (hydrocephalus) with various signs and symptoms, including nausea, headaches and behavior changes.
  • Lesions in the heart, usually in infants, can block blood flow or cause problems with heart rhythm (dysrhythmia).
  • Lesions in the kidney can be large and cause potentially serious — even life-threatening — kidney problems. Lesions in the kidney can cause bleeding or lead to kidney failure. Rarely, kidney lesions can become cancerous.
  • Lesions in the lungs can lead to lung failure.
  • Lesions in the eye can interfere with vision if they block too much of the retina, though this is rare.
Nov. 25, 2014