Presentation and management of spinal meningioma and its association with breast carcinoma-case series and systematic review

Br J Neurosurg. 2022 Apr 18:1-6. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2022.2061419. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Benign spinal intradural tumors are rare entities and there have been relatively few case series describing the epidemiology and characteristics of these tumors. Here, we evaluate the presentation, demographics, pathology and outcomes associated with the surgical management of spinal meningioma in our unit over a 6-year period.

Results: A total of 68 cases presented to the operating surgeon during a 6-year period. Of these, over 80% (n = 55) were in females. Seventy-nine percent of the meningiomas were observed in the thoracic region (n = 54). Weakness and gait disturbance were the most common presenting complaints. Surgery significantly improved both motor outcome (p < 0.001) and health related qualities of life (SF36, p < 0.01).Seventeen percent of spinal meningioma cases (n = 12) had a preceding cancer diagnosis. Of these 75% (n = 9/12) were attributable to breast cancer. Overall, breast cancer preceded a diagnosis of a spinal meningioma in 16.4% of female cases (9/55). This is higher than expected number of breast cancer based on UK population and those reported in literature for breast cancer and intracranial meningioma.

Conclusion: Spinal meningioma is disproportionately over-represented in females. Patients present with neurological deficits and surgery improved both neurology and patient reported quality of life. Relative to the known UK prevalence of breast cancer, there is a significantly higher than expected association between spinal meningioma and a preceding history of breast cancer.

Keywords: Spinal meningioma; spinal intradural tumor; spinal meningioma and breast cancer.