Objective: In this report, we evaluate the recurrence- and progression-free survival of patients with meningiomas involving the cavernous sinus.
Methods: The rates of tumor recurrence and progression in 119 patients with meningiomas involving the cavernous sinus treated between 1983 and 1993 were analyzed.
Results: The mean follow-up period was 33.8 months. There were seven recurrences of completely resected tumors (7 of 73, 10%) and seven progressions of incompletely resected tumors (7 of 46 15%). Life table analysis of recurrence- and progression-free survival was performed. The recurrence-free survival rate was 94% at 3 years and 81% at 5 years. In contrast, the progression-free survival rate was 87% at 3 years and 62% at 5 years (P = 0.0456). There were two patterns of recurrence or progression. The first group of tumors had an aggressive biological behavior with growth at multiple areas of resection; the second group showed growth at or near the margins of resection. Functional status continued to improve slowly during the follow-up period; however, there was no statistically significant difference between the Karnofsky scores obtained 3 to 12 months postoperatively and the follow-up Karnofsky scores (obtained > 1 yr postoperatively).
Conclusion: Surgery for meningiomas involving the cavernous sinus seems to provide excellent tumor control. Our experience suggests that for the majority of these tumors, complete tumor resection can be performed with acceptable risks of morbidity and mortality and seems to increase the duration of recurrence-free survival. The long-term quality of life of surviving patients is satisfactory, with the great majority of the patients being independent.