The purpose of this study was to compare long-term prognosis after meningioma surgery in elderly and younger patients as well as to compare survival of elderly patients with surgically treated meningioma to survival rates for the general population.
Five hundred meningioma patients (median follow-up 90 months) who underwent surgery between 1994 and 2009 were subdivided into “elderly” (age ≥ 65 years, n = 162) and “younger” (age < 65 years, n = 338) groups for uni- and multivariate analyses. Mortality was compared with rates for the age- and sex-matched general population.
The median age at diagnosis was 71 in the elderly group and 51 years in the younger group. Sex, intracranial tumor location, grade of resection, radiotherapy, and histopathological subtypes were similar in the 2 groups. High-grade (WHO Grades II and III) and spinal tumors were more common in older patients than in younger patients (15% vs 8%, p = 0.017, and 12% vs 4%, p = 0.001, respectively). The progression-free interval (PFI) was similar in the 2 groups, whereas mortality at 3 months after surgery was higher and median overall survival (OS) was shorter in older patients (7%, 191 months) than in younger patients (1%, median not reached; HR 4.9, 95% CI 2.75–8.74; p < 0.001). Otherwise, the median OS in elderly patients did not differ from the anticipated general life expectancy (HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.70–1.50; p = 0.886). Within the older patient group, PFI was lower in patients with high-grade meningiomas (HR 24.74, 95% CI 4.23–144.66; p < 0.001) and after subtotal resection (HR 10.57, 95% CI 2.23–50.05; p = 0.003). Although extent of resection was independent of perioperative mortality, the median OS was longer after gross-total resection than after subtotal resection (HR 2.7, 95% CI 1.09–6.69; p = 0.032).
Elderly patients with surgically treated meningioma do not suffer from impaired survival compared with the age-matched general population, and their PFI is similar to that of younger meningioma patients. These data help mitigate fears concerning surgical treatment of elderly patients in an aging society.