Surgical complications and recurrence factors for asymptomatic meningiomas: a single‑center retrospective study

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1345–1353

Observation is the first management option in asymptomatic meningiomas, but when an enlargement or mass effect is observed, surgery is indicated. This study is aimed at exploring risk factors for complications and recurrence after surgery for asymptomatic meningioma. We also examined the impact of preoperative tumor embolization, which is considered controversial.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed 109 patients with primary asymptomatic meningiomas surgically treated at our institute between April 2007 and March 2021. Patients who only had headaches as a nonspecific complaint were included in the asymptomatic group. Complications, time to recurrence, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score were the endpoints of the study. Risk factors for complications and recurrence were explored. Moreover, the effect of the resection on nonspecific headaches was also explored.

Results The permanent postoperative complication rate related to the surgical procedure was 1.8%. Of the total, 107 patients (98.2%) with asymptomatic meningiomas who were surgically treated achieved a GOS score of 5 1 year after the operation. Preoperative headache was present in 31 patients and improved postoperatively in 21 patients. Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model showed that preoperative tumor embolization with > 80% resolution of tumor staining (p < 0.001) was negatively related to recurrence, whereas age (p = 0.046) and Simpson grade IV resection (p = 0.041) were positively related to recurrence.

Conclusion Although surgery for asymptomatic meningiomas can, in many cases, be safe, it is not free of complications Thus, surgical intervention for asymptomatic meningiomas should be considered cautiously. However, more than half the patients with headaches showed improvement. Simpson grade IV resection cases should be assessed for recurrence, and preoperative tumor embolization might be effective in controlling recurrence.