Object. The authors sought to assess the respective roles of microsurgery and gamma knife surgery (GKS) in the treatment of patients with meningiomas.
Methods. The authors culled from a 4-year prospective database data on 74 cases of meningiomas. Thirty-eight were treated with GKS and 35 with microsurgery. Simpson Grade 1 or 2 resection was achieved in 86.1% of patients who underwent microsurgery. Patients who underwent GKS received a mean margin dose of 16.4 Gy (range 14–20 Gy). The mean tumor coverage was 94.7%, and the mean conformity index was 1.76. Significant differences between the two treatment groups (GKS compared with microsurgery) included age (mean 60 compared with 50.7 years), volume (mean 7.85 cm3 compared with 44.4 cm3), treatment history (55.3% compared with 14.3%), and tumor location (cavernous sinus/petroclival, 14 compared with three). The median follow up was 21.5 months (range 1.5–50 months). In patients with benign meningiomas GKS tumor control was 96.8% with one recurrence at the margin. The recurrence rate was zero of 27 for Simpson Grade 1 or 2 resection and three of four for higher grades in those patients who underwent microsurgery. There was no procedure-related mortality or permanent major neurological morbidity. The mean Karnofsky Performance Scale score was maintained for both forms of treatment. Symptoms improved in 48.4% of patients undergoing microsurgery and 16.7% of those who underwent GKS. Transient and permanent cranial nerve morbidity was 7.9 compared with 2.9%, and 5.3 compared with 8.5% for GKS and microsurgery, respectively. In a patient satisfaction survey 93.1% of microsurgery patients and 91.2% of GKS patients were highly satisfied.
Conclusions. Both GKS and microsurgery serve important roles in the overall management of patients with meningiomas. Both are safe and effective and provide high degrees of satisfaction when used for differentially selected patients.