Object. The aim of this study was to discuss posterior petrous meningiomas—their classification, clinical manifestations, surgical treatments, and patient outcomes.
Methods. A retrospective analysis was performed in 82 patients with posterior petrous meningiomas for microsurgery. According to the anatomical relationship with the posterior surface of the petrous bone and with special reference to the internal auditory canal (IAC), posterior petrous meningiomas were classified into three types: Type I, located laterally to the IAC (28 cases); Type II, located medially to the IAC, which might extend to the cavernous sinus and clivus (32 cases); and Type III, extensively attached to the posterior surface of the petrous bone, which might envelop the seventh and eighth cranial nerves (22 cases).
Sixty-eight (83%) of 82 cases involved total resection. The rate of anatomical preservation of facial nerve was 97.5%, whereas the functional preservation rate was 81%. The rate of hearing preservation was 67%. All Type I tumors were completely resected, and the rate of anatomical preservation of facial nerve was 100% and functional preservation was 93%. Regarding Type II lesions, 75% of 32 cases involved total resection; the rate of anatomical preservation of facial nerve was 97% and functional preservation was 75%. For Type III lesions, 73% of 22 cases were totally resected. The rate of anatomical preservation of facial nerve in patients with this tumor type was 95%, whereas functional preservation was 73%.
Conclusions. Clinical manifestations and surgical prognoses are different among the various types of posterior petrous meningiomas. It is more difficult for Types II and III tumors to be resected radically than Type I lesions, and postoperative functional outcomes are significantly worse accordingly. The primary principles in dealing with this disease entity include preservation of vital vascular and central nervous system structures and total resection of the tumor as much as possible.