Background: The incidence of clinically silent meningiomas in 75-year-old individuals was determined five years ago in the Vienna Transdanube Ageing Study (VITA). At the time a watch-and-wait approach was recommended in cases of incidentally discovered meningiomas.
Methods: 420 out of the initial cohort of 532 test persons underwent control investigations after 2.5 and 5 years. Six of the nine known tumors were measured again and the patients underwent clinical, neurological and psychological tests. Changes in tumor size were determined and all new tumors seen on MRI investigation were carefully reviewed.
Results: Tumor growth was minimal in all six cases that were followed over the entire period. Two of the original meningioma patients had died and one patient had undergone tumor resection.
Conclusions: The watch-and-wait approach recommended after the VITA study was confirmed by the present investigation. Tumor growth was slow in all cases; no clinical symptoms have been registered thus far. The intervals between control investigations may even be prolonged depending on the location of the tumor. In this age group the operation appears to pose a greater risk than the presence of an asymptomatic tumor.