Cavernous sinus hemangioma is a rare and complex vascular tumor. A direct microsurgical approach usually results in massive hemorrhage. Stereotactic radiosurgery has emerged as a treatment alternative to microsurgery. To conduct a meta-analysis assessing the effect and complications of stereotactic radiosurgery in cavernous sinus hemangioma, a systematic review and meta-analysis of all cases of cavernous hemangioma in the cavernous sinus treated with stereotactic radiosurgery was performed. The search revealed ten papers with a total enrollment of 59 patients. Tumor size ranged from 1.5-51.4 cm(3) (mean 9.6 cm(3)). The mean follow-up period was 49.2 months (range 6-156 months). The most recent MR images demonstrated remarkable tumor shrinkage in 40 patients (67.8%), partial shrinkage in 15 patients (25.4%), and no change in four patients (6.8%). There was no significant correlation between lesion volume and tumor shrinkage. Patients with remarkable tumor shrinkage received higher doses than those with partial or no change tumor shrinkage (P = 0.031). Thirteen patients (22.0%) had no cranial nerve impairments before stereotactic radiosurgery. Among those 46 patients with cranial nerve impairments before stereotactic radiosurgery, complete resolution was achieved in seven patients and improvement in 28, and these impairments remained essentially unchanged in 11 patients. Only one patient had additional trigeminal nerve disturbance. There is no statistical significance in tumor control between patients treated with or without surgery (P = 0.091). The meta-analysis suggests stereotactic radiosurgery avoids the complications associated with attempted microsurgical resection. Stereotactic radiosurgery is an alternative for cavernous sinus hemangiomas confirmed by typical imaging.