The role of radical microsurgical resection in multimodal treatment for skull base meningioma

J Neurosurg. 2010 Nov;113(5):1072-8. doi: 10.3171/2010.2.JNS091118. Epub 2010 Mar 12.


Object: Because resection followed by timely stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is becoming a standard strategy for skull base meningiomas, the role of initial surgical tumor reduction in this combined treatment should be clarified.

Methods: This study examined 161 patients with benign skull base meningiomas surgically treated at Osaka City University between January 1985 and December 2005. The mean follow-up period was 95.3 months. Patients were categorized into 3 groups based on the operative period and into 4 groups based on tumor location. Maximal resection was performed as first therapy throughout all periods. In the early period (1985-1994), in the absence of SRS, total excision of the tumor was intentionally performed for surgical cure of the disease. In the mid and late periods (1995-2000 and 2001-2005), small parts of the tumor invading critical neurovascular structures were left untouched to obtain good functional results. Residual tumors with high proliferation potential (Ki 67 index > 4%) or with progressive tendencies were treated with SRS. The extent of initial tumor resection, recurrence rate, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and complication rate were investigated in each group.

Results: The mean tumor equivalent diameter of residual tumors was 3.67 mm in the no-recurrence group and 11.7 mm in the recurrence group. The mean tumor resection rate (TRR) was 98.5% in the no-recurrence group and 90.1% in the recurrence group. A significant relationship was seen between postoperative tumor size, TRR, and recurrence rate (p < 0.001), but the recurrence rate showed no significant relationship with any other factors such as operative period (p = 0.48), tumor location (p = 0.76), or preoperative tumor size (p = 0.067). The mean TRR was maintained throughout all operative periods, but the complication rate was lowest and postoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score was best in the late period (p < 0.001 each). Late-period results were as follows: mean TRR, 97.9%; mortality rate, 0%; and severe morbidity rate, 0%. Stereotactic radiosurgery procedures were added in 27 cases (16.8%) across all periods. Throughout all follow-up periods, 158 tumors were satisfactorily controlled by maximal possible excision alone or in combination with adequate SRS.

Conclusions: The combination of maximal possible resection and additional SRS improves functional outcomes in patients with skull base meningioma. A TRR greater than 97% in volume can be achieved with satisfactory functional preservation and will lead to excellent tumor control in combined treatment of skull base meningioma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Meningioma / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Radiosurgery
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome