Objective: The purpose of this study is to understand the epidemiology, clinical features, behavior, and the prognostic factors that influence the outcome of intracranial meningiomas in children.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with age less than 18 years who underwent surgery for intracranial meningiomas during the period of at 1988-2012 at Voluntary Health Services Hospital, Chennai, India were studied. These formed 3.7 % of the total 831 cases of intracranial meningiomas operated at the institute.
Results: The study group included 22 (71 %) males and 9 (29 %) females. The mean age of presentation was 15 years, with the youngest being 9 months old. Two (6 %) had evidence of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). The most common symptoms at presentation were seizures in 11 (35.5 %), weakness of limbs in 11 (35.5 %), and raised intracranial pressure in 10 (32 %). Convexity meningiomas were seen in 16 (51 %) and skull base in 15(49 %). Multiple meningiomas was seen in two (6 %) of the patients and intraventricular location was found in one patient (3 %). Two (6 %) had evidence of NF2. Gross total excision was achieved in 26 (83 %) and subtotal excision in 5 (17 %). WHO grade I was found in 20 (64 %) and higher grade was seen in 11 (36 %). The mean follow-up was 46.2 months. Recurrence was seen in 20 patients (64 %). In patients with higher grade or with recurrence resurgery and radiotherapy was given. Three (9 %) had multiple recurrences. On a mean follow-up of 46.2 months, 25 patients (81 %) were neurologically intact, 5 (16 %) were having moderated disability, and 1 (3 %) patient died.
Conclusions: Childhood meningiomas are uncommon lesions with a slight male predominance. They can have a varied clinical presentation. Higher grade is found more frequently compared with adults. Gross total resection is the goal and in higher grade meningiomas radiotherapy helps as a good adjuvant. Though the rate of recurrence is high, resurgery and radiotherapy gives a good outcome.