Surgical management of spinal meningiomas

J Neurosurg Spine 30:308–313, 2019

Spinal meningiomas (sMNGs) are relatively rare in comparison to intracranial MNGs. sMNGs localized anterior to the denticulate ligament (aMNGs) represent a surgically challenging subgroup. A high perioperative complication rate due to the need for complex surgical approaches has been described. In the present study, the authors report on their surgical experience that involves two institutions in which 207 patients underwent surgery for sMNGs. Special focus was placed on patients with aMNGs that were treated via a unilateral posterior approach (ULPA).

METHODS Between 2005 and 2017, 207 patients underwent resection of sMNGs at one of two institutions. The following characteristics were assessed: tumor size and localization, surgical approach, duration of surgery, grade of resection, peri- and postoperative complication rates, and neurological outcome. Data were compared between the subgroups of patients according to the lesion’s relationship to the denticulate ligament and to surgical approach.

RESULTS The authors identified 48 patients with aMNGs, 86 patients with lateral MNGs, and 76 patients with posterior MNGs (pMNGs). Overall, 66.6% of aMNGs and 64% of pMNGs were reached via a ULPA. aMNGs that were approached via a ULPA showed reduced duration of surgery (131 vs 224 minutes, p < 0.0001) and had surgical complication rates and neurological outcomes comparable to those of lesions that were approached via a bilateral approach. No significant differences in complication rate, outcomes, and extent of resection were seen between aMNGs and pMNGs.

CONCLUSIONS The duration of surgery, extent of resection, and outcomes are comparable between aMNGs and pMNGs when removed via a ULPA. Thus, ULPA represents a safe route to achieve a gross-total resection, even in cases of aMNG.