Although surgical resection of brain tumors has been performed for over a century, complications still occur with distressing frequency.
The authors propose a simple preoperative grading scheme to assess surgical risk for resection of primary and secondary intraaxial supratentorial brain tumors.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical records, neuroimaging studies, and outcomes of 224 surgeries performed in 207 patients from January 1993 to December 1995 at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Brain Tumor Center. Subsequently, they considered and statistically analyzed multiple variables related to the patients and their lesions. Surgical risk was defined as any complication occurring within 30 days postoperatively, and was divided into transient operative complications, transient medical complications, and new sustained neurological deficits. Length of stay was also recorded. The overall incidence of complications was 10.6% and the mortality rate was 2.7%, with a median hospital stay of 3 days. Patient age greater than 60 years (p < 0.001), preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale scores of 50 or less (p < 0.03), previous irradiation (p < 0.001), tumor location in eloquent regions (p < 0.03), and depth of tumor invasion (p < 0.001) independently predicted complicated outcome or increased length of stay. Finally, the authors derived a simple five-tier grading scheme in which these patient risk factors are added together to obtain a grade of I to V that corresponds to outcome and length of hospital stay.
This grading scheme may be used to identify patients at higher risk and facilitate comparison of results between institutions and individual surgeons.