Patients with skull base meningioma (SBM) often require complex surgery around critical neurovascular structures, placing them at high risk of poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and possibly neurocognitive dysfunction. As the survival of meningioma patients is near normal, long-term neurocognitive and HRQOL outcomes are important to evaluate, including evaluation of the impact of specific tumor location and treatment modalities on these outcomes.
In this multicenter cross-sectional study including patients 5 years or more after their last tumor intervention, Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-BN20 questionnaires were used to assess generic and disease-specific HRQOL. Neurocognitive functioning was assessed with standardized neuropsychological assessment. SBM patient assessments were compared with those of 1) informal caregivers of SBM patients who served as controls and 2) convexity meningioma patients. In addition, the authors compared anterior/middle SBM patients with posterior SBM patients and anterior/middle and posterior SBM patients separately with controls. Multivariable and propensity score regression analyses were performed to correct for possible confounders.
Patients with SBM (n = 89) with a median follow-up of 9 years after the last intervention did not significantly differ from controls (n = 65) or convexity meningioma patients (n = 84) on generic HRQOL assessment. Statistically significantly but not clinically relevantly better disease-specific HRQOL was found for SBM patients compared with convexity meningioma patients. Anterior/middle SBM patients (n = 62) had significantly and clinically relevantly better HRQOL in SF-36 and EORTC QLQ-BN20 scores than posterior SBM patients (n = 27): physical role functioning (corrected difference 17.1, 95% CI 0.2–34.0), motor dysfunction (−10.1, 95% CI −17.5 to −2.7), communication deficit (−14.2, 95% CI −22.7 to −5.6), and weakness in both legs (−10.1, 95% CI −18.8 to −1.5). SBM patients whose primary treatment was radiotherapy had lower HRQOL scores compared with SBM patients who underwent surgery on two domains: bodily pain (−33.0, 95% CI −55.2 to −10.9) and vitality (−18.9. 95% CI −33.7 to −4.1). Tumor location and treatment modality did not result in significant differences in neurocognitive functioning, although 44% of SBM patients had deficits in at least one domain.
In the long term, SBM patients do not experience significantly more sequelae in HRQOL and neurocognitive functioning than do controls or patients with convexity meningioma. Patients with posterior SBM had poorer HRQOL than anterior/middle SBM patients, and primary treatment with radiotherapy was associated with worse HRQOL. Neurocognitive functioning was not affected by tumor location or treatment modality.