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Michael E. Sughrue, Martin J. Rutkowski, Derick Aranda, Igor J. Barani, Michael W. McDermott, and Andrew T. Parsa

Object

Definitive data allowing clinicians to predict which meningioma patients will fail to respond to conservative management are lacking. To address this need, the authors systematically reviewed the published literature regarding the natural history of small, untreated meningiomas.

Methods

The authors performed a systematic review of the existing literature on untreated meningiomas that were followed with serial MR imaging. They summarize the published linear rates of tumor growth, and the risk factors for development of new or worsened symptoms during follow-up by using a stratified chi-square test.

Results

The search methods identified 22 published studies reporting on 675 patients with untreated meningiomas followed by serial MR imaging. Linear growth rates varied significantly: no growth was the most common rate, although reports of more aggressive tumors noted growth rates of up to a 93% linear increase in size per year. The authors found that few patients with initial tumor diameters < 2 cm went on to develop new or worsened symptoms over a median follow-up period of 4.6 years. Patients with initial tumor diameters of 2–2.5 cm demonstrated a marked difference in the rate of symptom progression if their tumors grew > 10% per year, compared with those tumors growing ≤ 10% per year (42% vs 0%; p < 0.001, chi-square test). Patients with tumors between > 2.5 and 3 cm in initial size went on to develop new or worsened symptoms 17% of the time.

Conclusions

This systematic review of the literature regarding the clinical behavior of untreated meningiomas suggests that most meningiomas ≤ 2.5 cm in diameter do not proceed to cause symptoms in the approximately 5-year period following their discovery. Those that do cause symptoms can usually be predicted with close radiographic follow-up. Based on these findings, the authors suggest the importance of observation in the early course of treatment for small asymptomatic meningiomas, especially those with an initial diameter < 2 cm.

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Michael E. Sughrue, Martin J. Rutkowski, Derick Aranda, Igor J. Barani, Michael W. McDermott, and Andrew T. Parsa

Object

Although there is a considerable volume of literature available on the treatment of patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas (CSMs), most of the data regarding tumor control and survival come from case studies or single-institution series. The authors performed a meta-analysis of reported tumor control and survival rates of patients described in the published literature, with an emphasis on specific prognostic factors.

Methods

The authors systematically analyzed the published literature and found more than 3000 patients treated for CSMs. Separate meta-analyses were performed to calculate pooled rates of recurrence and cranial neuropathy after 1) gross-total resection, 2) subtotal resection without adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy or radiosurgery, and 3) stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone. Results were expressed as pooled proportions, and random-effects models were used to incorporate any heterogeneity present to generate a pooled proportion. Individual studies were weighted using the inverse variance method, and 95% CIs for each group were calculated from the pooled proportions.

Results

A total of 2065 nonduplicated patients treated for CSM met inclusion criteria for the analysis. Comparisons of the 95% CIs for recurrence of these 3 cohorts revealed that SRS-treated patients experienced improved rates of recurrence (3.2% [95% CI 1.9–4.5%]) compared with either gross-total resection (11.8% [95% CI 7.4–16.1%]) or subtotal resection alone (11.1% [95% CI 6.6–15.7%]) (p < 0.01). The authors found that the pooled mixed-effects rate of cranial neuropathy was markedly higher in patients undergoing resection (59.6% [95% CI 50.3–67.5%]) than for those undergoing SRS alone (25.7% [95% CI 11.5–38.9%]) (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Radiosurgery provided improved rates of tumor control compared with surgery alone, regardless of the subjective extent of resection.

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Editorial

Cavernous sinus meningiomas

Atul Goel and Manu Kothari