Minimally invasive surgical treatment of intracranial meningiomas in elderly patients (≥ 65 years): outcomes, readmissions, and tumor control

Neurosurg Focus 49 (4):E17, 2020

Increased lifespan has led to more elderly patients being diagnosed with meningiomas. In this study, the authors sought to analyze and compare patients ≥ 65 years old with those < 65 years old who underwent minimally invasive surgery for meningioma. To address surgical selection criteria, the authors also assessed a cohort of patients managed without surgery.

METHODS In a retrospective analysis, consecutive patients with meningiomas who underwent minimally invasive (endonasal, supraorbital, minipterional, transfalcine, or retromastoid) and conventional surgical treatment approaches during the period from 2008 to 2019 were dichotomized into those ≥ 65 and those < 65 years old to compare resection rates, endoscopy use, complications, and length of hospital stay (LOS). A comparator meningioma cohort of patients ≥ 65 years old who were observed without surgery during the period from 2015 to 2019 was also analyzed.

RESULTS Of 291 patients (median age 60 years, 71.5% females, mean follow-up 36 months) undergoing meningioma resection, 118 (40.5%) were aged ≥ 65 years and underwent 126 surgeries, including 20% redo operations, as follows: age 65–69 years, 46 operations; 70–74 years, 40 operations; 75–79 years, 17 operations; and ≥ 80 years, 23 operations. During 2015–2019, of 98 patients referred for meningioma, 67 (68%) had surgery, 1 (1%) had radiosurgery, and 31 (32%) were observed. In the 11-year surgical cohort, comparing 173 patients < 65 years versus 118 patients ≥ 65 years old, there were no significant differences in tumor location, size, or outcomes. Of 126 cases of surgery in 118 elderly patients, the approach was a minimally invasive approach to skull base meningioma (SBM) in 64 cases (51%) as follows: endonasal 18, supraorbital 28, minipterional 6, and retrosigmoid 12. Endoscope-assisted surgery was performed in 59.5% of patients. A conventional approach to SBM was performed in 15 cases (12%) (endoscope-assisted 13.3%), and convexity craniotomy for non–skull base meningioma (NSBM) in 47 cases (37%) (endoscope-assisted 17%). In these three cohorts (minimally invasive SBM, conventional SBM, and NSBM), the gross-total/near-total resection rates were 59.5%, 60%, and 91.5%, respectively, and an improved or stable Karnofsky Performance Status score occurred in 88.6%, 86.7%, and 87.2% of cases, respectively. For these 118 elderly patients, the median LOS was 3 days, and major complications occurred in 10 patients (8%) as follows: stroke 4%, vision decline 3%, systemic complications 0.7%, and wound infection or death 0. Eighty-three percent of patients were discharged home, and readmissions occurred in 5 patients (4%). Meningioma recurrence occurred in 4 patients (3%) and progression in 11 (9%). Multivariate regression analysis showed no significance of American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status score, comorbidities, or age subgroups on outcomes; patients aged ≥ 80 years showed a trend of longer hospitalization.

CONCLUSIONS This analysis suggests that elderly patients with meningiomas, when carefully selected, generally have excellent surgical outcomes and tumor control. When applied appropriately, use of minimally invasive approaches and endoscopy may be helpful in achieving maximal safe resection, reducing complications, and promoting short hospitalizations. Notably, one-third of our elderly meningioma patients referred for possible surgery from 2015 to 2019 were managed nonoperatively.