Radiation-induced meningioma: a descriptive study of 253 cases

J Neurosurg. 2002 Nov;97(5):1078-82. doi: 10.3171/jns.2002.97.5.1078.


Object: Ionizing radiation is the only established risk factor recognized today in the causation of meningioma. The aim of the present report is to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of a large series of 253 patients with radiation-induced meningiomas (RIMs). These parameters were compared with those of 41 patients with meningiomas in whom there was no previous history of irradiation (non-RIM group) and with other series of patients presented in the literature.

Methods: The cases of RIM were recruited from a cohort of approximately 11,000 individuals who had been treated with ionizing radiation during childhood for tinea capitis and from a group of individuals who, as adults, applied for compensation because of that treatment. The non-RIM group was identified through the Israeli Cancer Registry. Exposure to radiation was carefully validated among all cases of RIM and absence of previous irradiation was verified for all patients in the non-RIM group. Significantly, a lower patient age at diagnosis, higher prevalence of calvarial tumors, higher proportion of multiple meningiomas, and a nonsignificant higher recurrence rate were observed among patients with RIM compared with the non-RIM group. The mean latency period from date of radiation exposure to development of a meningioma among the RIM group was approximately 36 years.

Conclusions: The findings of this study agree with those of other studies indicating the demographic, clinical, and even genetic variability between RIM and non-RIM cases. The existence of two different subtypes of meningiomas may have profound implications for screening, early diagnosis, and therapy of meningiomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Meningioma / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced* / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Tinea Capitis / radiotherapy