In meningiomas, the Simpson grading system is applied to estimate the risk of postoperative recurrence, but might suffer from bias and limited overview of the resection cavity. In contrast, the value of the postoperative tumor volume as an objective predictor of recurrence is largely unexplored. The objective of this study was to compare the predictive value of residual tumor volume with the intraoperatively assessed extent of resection (EOR).
The Simpson grade was determined in 939 patients after surgery for initially diagnosed intracranial meningioma. Tumor volume was measured on initial postoperative MRI within 6 months after surgery. Correlation between both variables and recurrence was compared using a tree-structured Cox regression model.
Recurrence correlated with Simpson grading (p = 0.003). In 423 patients (45%) with available imaging, residual tumor volume covered a broad range (0–78.5 cm3). MRI revealed tumor remnants in 8% after gross-total resection (Simpson grade I–III, range 0.12–33.5 cm3) with a Cohen’s kappa coefficient of 0.7153. Postoperative tumor volume was correlated with recurrence in univariate analysis (HR 1.05 per cm3, 95% CI 1.02–1.08 per cm3, p < 0.001). A tree-structured Cox regression model revealed any postoperative tumor volume > 0 cm3 as a critical cutoff value for the prediction of relapse. Multivariate analysis confirmed the postoperative tumor volume (HR 1.05, p < 0.001) but not the Simpson grading (p = 0.398) as a predictor for recurrence.
EOR according to Simpson grading was overrated in 8% of tumors compared to postoperative imaging. Because the predictive value of postoperative imaging is superior to the Simpson grade, any residual tumor should be carefully considered during postoperative care of meningioma patients.