Meningiomas of the clivus and apical petrous bone

Report of 35 cases

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✓ Between March, 1966, and June, 1985, 23 women and 12 men underwent partial or total resection of apical petrous or clivus meningiomas at The National Hospital for Nervous Diseases. Presenting symptoms were typically of long duration (mean 29 months) and consisted primarily of gait disturbance, headache, hearing loss, and facial pain. Cranial nerve deficits, especially affecting the fifth, seventh, and eighth nerves, were observed in nearly every patient. Tumor size, but not location, was generally associated with degree of preoperative disability. Plain skull films were usually unremarkable, but computerized tomography (CT) proved highly accurate in determining tumor location and size. A characteristic pattern of vascular displacement was seen on vertebral angiograms, although blood supply to the tumors was derived primarily from branches of the internal and external carotid arteries.

Subtotal or total resection was undertaken in all cases; nine patients required adjunctive cerebrospinal fluid shunting procedures. Although surgical techniques evolved during the course of the 20-year study, a combined supra- and infratentorial approach proved a relatively safe and effective means of surgical treatment. New or worsened postoperative deficits, especially cranial nerve palsies, and complications in the immediate postoperative period frequently resulted in temporary deterioration of the clinical status during this period; the total operative mortality rate was 9%. Follow-up periods ranged up to 9 years; 70% of patients resumed an independent existence, and none is known to have required subsequent tumor surgery. The size of the lesion was the only significant factor in determining outcome. These data suggest that meningiomas of the clivus and apical petrous bone can be accurately diagnosed by CT and three-vessel angiography, and effectively treated by microsurgical resection.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Marc R. Mayberg, M.D., Neurosurgery Section, Veterans Administration Medical Center, 1660 South Columbian Way, Seattle, Washington 98108.
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