Programs & Services

Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center


Recently developed surgical techniques to remove hypothalamic hamartomas offer new hope for families with children who suffer from these tumors.

Under the leadership of Ruth Bristol, MD, Barrow Neurological Institute provides comprehensive evaluation, diagnostic testing, and treatment for patients with hypothalamic hamartoma tumors.

Hypothalamic hamartomas (HH) are rare, benign tumors of the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates many critical functions.

Hypothalamic hamartomas affect children from infancy onward and commonly cause seizures, precocious puberty, abnormalities in endocrine function and cognitive and behavioral problems. These tumors are most often found during the diagnostic evaluation of patients for epilepsy (particularly gelastic seizures) or precocious puberty.

Hypothalamic Hamartoma Treatment

The Hypothalamic Hamartoma Program treats patients whose treatment by medication is failing. We offer surgical treatment to eradicate the hypothalamic hamartoma lesion.

The specific treatment approach is based upon the individual anatomy of the hypothalamic hamartoma lesion (which varies tremendously from patient to patient) and the patient's unique clinical circumstances. Options include surgical resection by one of four different approaches, and Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

Multidisciplinary Team Provides Treatment for Hypothalamic Hamartoma

The Hypothalamic Hamartoma Program is made up of a multidisciplinary team designed to provide comprehensive evaluation, diagnostic testing and definitive treatment for patients with hypothalamic hamartoma tumors. Through a team review of medical records, radiographic tests and other diagnostic tests, a treatment plan is created to meet the needs of each patient.

The Hypothalamic Hamartoma team is dedicated to the continuity of care for each patient, including diagnosis, treatment planning, discharge planning and correspondence with other physicians involved in the patient's care.

The team also conducts patient care conferences, supports collaboration between clinical and research specialists and facilitates educational programs to advance the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Our Commitment to the Best Care

Hypothalamic hamartoma patients experience unusual seizures. It is common for the diagnosis to be missed, and effective treatment to be delayed.

As a result, the disease may progress, resulting in worsening seizures, developmental delays, emotional deterioration, and endocrine (hormonal) disturbances.

Consequently, we feel it is our obligation to educate the community, including healthcare professionals, locally and worldwide, so that they will be able to properly diagnose patients with hypothalamic hamartoma.

As a rare and challenging disease, we believe that hypothalamic hamartoma patients are best evaluated and treated in centers that specialize in this condition.

Our mission is to serve as a resource to the hypothalamic hamartoma community of patients and families throughout the world. We accomplish this goal by offering definitive treatment and education, and conducting research to benefit the hypothalamic hamartoma patients of the future.

Learn more about Hypothalamic Hamartoma and our Services

Contact Us

For more information please contact Diana Larocque, RN, BNS, CPN at (602) 933-0468 or

Please Bring the Following Information to Your Child's First Appointment:

  • Medical history form (English | Spanish)
  • ​Medical records
  • Prior scans (CD or film)

If you can send this information to us ahead of time, all the better! All patient forms can be found here: Patient Forms. If possible please complete and either send forms to us beforehand or bring them with to your appointment.


Ambulatory Building (B), 3rd Floor
Phoenix Children's Hospital - Main Campus
1919 E. Thomas Road
​Phoenix, AZ 85016

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