Intracranial meningiomas (ICMs) may be diagnosed in octogenarians. Since the lesions are rarely life-threatening, surgery is a questionable choice in this age group. The authors’ aim in this study was to analyze factors associated with the extent of resection (EOR), overall survival (OS), and postoperative complications in octogenarians undergoing ICM surgery, by using a cohort of septuagenarians as a reference.
All patients ≥ 70 years of age who underwent surgery at Oslo University Hospital for an ICM between 1990 and 2010 were included in this study. Data on these cases were retrospectively (1990–2002) and prospectively (2003–2010) acquired from a databank belonging to Oslo University Hospital. All related preoperative imaging studies or reports (earlier cases) were reviewed to confirm tumor location, the presence of bone invasion, and the postoperative EOR.
In this study, 49 octogenarians (29 females [59.2%], mean age 83.3 ± 2.5 years) were compared with 272 septuagenarians (173 females [63.6%], mean age 74.3 ± 2.7 years). Forty octogenarians (81.6%) and 217 septuagenarians (79.8%) underwent gross-total resection. Simpson grade IV resection was achieved in 9 octogenarians (18.4%) and 4 septuagenarians (1.4%), while Simpson grade V resection was obtained in 4 septuagenarians (1.4%). Postoperative complications were similar in both groups, and 4 octogenarians (8.2%) and 11 septuagenarians (4.1%) died within 30 days after surgery (p = 0.25). No octogenarian underwent adjuvant radiotherapy. The OS was 4.2 ± 2.8 years in the octogenarians and 5.8 ± 4.4 years in the septuagenarians (p < 0.001). Female sex (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.14–0.93; p = 0.03) and a preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score ≥ 70 (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.10–0.72; p = 0.009) were correlated to the OS.
Octogenarians undergoing surgery for ICMs had an overall reduced OS compared to septuagenarians. However, the clinical relevance of this difference in OS is debatable and has to be put in perspective with expected survival without surgery. Data on symptoms upon admission, EOR, invasive tumor features, and postoperative complications in octogenarians are similar to those observed in septuagenarians. Therefore, the decision concerning whether surgery should be performed must be based on a case-by-case discussion, and surgery should not be immediately dismissed when it comes to ICMs in octogenarians.