Objective: To study the clinical characteristics and treatment of meningiomas in children.
Methods: One hundred and sixty-six meningiomas in children, including 12 cases treated in Qilu hospital and 8 series reported in the literature, were analyzed retrospectively on sex, age distribution, presenting symptoms, signs, radiological and pathological findings, treatment and prognosis.
Results: The ratio of boys and girls was 2.3:1. The age ranged from 0.5 to 15 years (mean 9.9 years). Cranial nerve disorder (28%) and signs of chronic increased intracranial pressure such as headaches (62%), vomiting (53%) and papilledema (55%) were the most common symptoms. The most common location was the cerebral convexity (41%), followed by ventricles (15%), saddle areas (8%), cerebellopontine angles (8%), brain intraparenchyma (5%), parasagittal regions (4%), etc. Homogeneous density was observed in 62.3% of all cases, calcification in 14.8%, cystic components in 21.3% and intratumoral hemorrhage in 1.6%. On average, the epithelial and fibroblastic types of meningiomas took up 55% of the case, while the amount of malignant or atypical meningiomas averaged 9%. Complete tumor excision was achieved in 74%, and postoperative mortality was 3.3%.
Conclusions: Compared with meningiomas in adults, meningiomas in children occur predominantly in males with a lower incidence rate of epilepsy, and are frequently associated with multiple neurofibromatosis. Meningiomas in children have a poorer prognosis than those in adults. Degree of the first tumor resection, tumor location, pathological grade and association with neurofibromatosis are the most important factors influencing the patients' prognoses.