Peritumoral brain edema (PTBE) is associated with perioperative neurological deficits in patients with meningiomas. However, the pathogenesis of meningioma-associated edema remains unclear. In the present study, the authors investigated the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its relationship with PTBE in resected meningiomas.
Thirty-six benign meningiomas obtained in 36 patients were studied retrospectively. Edema volume was assessed on MR images, and an edema index (EI) was calculated. Interleukin-6 mRNA and protein expression were examined by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining.
Peritumoral brain edema was found in 16 patients (44%). Neither age, sex, histological subtype, nor tumor location were related to PTBE. The level of IL-6 mRNA was 7.72 times greater in the edema group (EI > 0.2) than in the nonedema group (EI < 0.2; p = 0.011). On immunohistochemical analysis, IL-6 protein was found localized in the cytoplasm of the tumor cells, and was detected in 12 (75%) of 16 cases of edematous meningiomas, but in only 6 (30%) of 20 nonedematous cases. There was a significant correlation between the severity of PTBE and IL-6 expression (p = 0.004).
The authors' results in this study indicate that IL-6 expression may contribute to the development of brain edema associated with meningiomas.