Prevalence of incidental meningiomas and gliomas on MRI: a meta‐analysis and meta‐regression analysis

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3401–3415

The chance of incidentally detecting brain tumors is increasing as the utilization of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) becomes more prevalent. In this background, knowledge is accumulating in relation to the prediction of their clinical sequence. However, their prevalence—especially the prevalence of glioma—has not been adequately investigated according to age, sex, and region.

Method We systematically reviewed the articles according to the PRISMA statement and calculated the prevalence of meningiomas and diffuse gliomas in adults using a generalized linear mixed model. Specifically, the differences related to age, sex, and region were investigated.

Results The pooled prevalence of incidental meningiomas in MRI studies was 0.52% (95% confidence interval (CI) [0.34– 0.78]) in 37,697 individuals from 36 studies. A meta-regression analysis showed that the prevalence was significantly higher in elderly individuals, women, and individuals outside Asia; this remained statistically significant in the multivariate meta-regression analysis. The prevalence reached to 3% at 90 years of age. In contrast, the prevalence of gliomas in 30,918 individuals from 18 studies was 0.064% (95%CI [0.040 – 0.104]). The meta-regression analysis did not show a significant relationship between the prevalence and age, male sex, or region. The prevalence of histologically confirmed glioma was 0.026% (95%CI [0.013–0.052]).

Conclusions Most of meningiomas, especially those in elderlies, remained asymptomatic, and their prevalence increased with age. However, the prevalence of incidental gliomas was much lower and did not increase with age. The number of gliomas that developed and the number that reached a symptomatic stage appeared to be balanced.

Surgical treatment of meningiomas located in the rolandic area

J Neurosurg 133:107–118, 2020

Surgical treatment of convexity meningiomas is usually considered a low-risk procedure. Nevertheless, the risk of postoperative motor deficits is higher (7.1%–24.7% of all cases) for lesions located in the rolandic region, especially when an arachnoidal cleavage plane with the motor pathway is not identifiable. The authors analyzed the possible role of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) for planning resection of rolandic meningiomas and predicting the presence or lack of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane as well as the postoperative motor outcome.

METHODS Clinical data were retrospectively collected from surgical cases involving patients affected by convexity, parasagittal, or falx meningiomas involving the rolandic region, who received preoperative nTMS mapping of the motor cortex (M1) and nTMS-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking of the corticospinal tract before surgery at 2 different neurosurgical centers. Surgeons’ self-reported evaluation of the impact of nTMS-based mapping on surgical strategy was analyzed. Moreover, the nTMS mapping accuracy was evaluated in comparison with intraoperative neurophysiological mapping (IONM). Lastly, we assessed the role of nTMS as well as other pre- and intraoperative parameters for predicting the patients’ motor outcome and the presence or absence of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane.

RESULTS Forty-seven patients were included in this study. The nTMS-based planning was considered useful in 89.3% of cases, and a change of the surgical strategy was observed in 42.5% of cases. The agreement of nTMS-based planning and IONM-based strategy in 35 patients was 94.2%. A new permanent motor deficit occurred in 8.5% of cases (4 of 47). A higher resting motor threshold (RMT) and the lack of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane were the only independent predictors of a poor motor outcome (p = 0.04 and p = 0.02, respectively). Moreover, a higher RMT and perilesional edema also predicted the lack of an arachnoidal cleavage plane (p = 0.01 and p = 0.03, respectively). Preoperative motor status, T2 cleft sign, contrast-enhancement pattern, and tumor volume had no predictive value.

CONCLUSIONS nTMS-based motor mapping is a useful tool for presurgical assessment of rolandic meningiomas, especially when a clear cleavage plane with M1 is not present. Moreover, the RMT can indicate the presence or absence of an intraoperative cleavage plane and predict the motor outcome, thereby helping to identify high-risk patients before surgery.


Endoscopic endonasal approach to primitive Meckel’s cave tumors

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:2349–2361

Recently, an alternative endoscopic endonasal approach to Meckel’s cave (MC) tumors has been proposed. To date, few studies have evaluated the results of this route. The aim of our study was to evaluate long-term surgical and clinical outcome associated with this technique in a cohort of patients with intrinsic MC tumors.

Methods All patients with MC tumors treated at out institution by endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) between 2002 and 2016 were included. Patients underwent brain MRI, CT-angiography, and neurological evaluation before surgery. Complications were considered based on the surgical records. All examinations were repeated after 3 and 12 months, then annually. The median follow-up was of 44.1 months (range 16–210).

Results The series included 8 patients (4 F): 5 neuromas, 1 meningioma, 1 chondrosarcoma, and 1 epidermoid cyst. The median age at treatment was 54.5 years (range 21–70). Three tumors presented with a posterior fossa extension. Radical removal of the MC portion of the tumor was achieved in 7 out of 8 cases. Two patients developed a permanent and transitory deficit of the sixth cranial nerve, respectively. No tumor recurrence was observed at follow-up.

Conclusion In this preliminary series, the EEA appeared an effective and safe approach to MC tumors. The technique could be advantageous to treat tumors located in the antero-medial aspects of MC displacing the trigeminal structures posteriorly and laterally. A favorable index of an adequate working space for this approach is represented by the ICA medialization, while tumor extension to the posterior fossa represents the main limitation to radical removal of this route.

Foramen magnum meningiomas: surgical results and risks predicting poor outcomes based on a modified classification

J Neurosurg 126:661–676, 2017

This study aimed to evaluate neurological function and progression/recurrence (P/R) outcome of foramen magnum meningioma (FMM) based on a modified classification.

METHODS This study included 185 consecutive patients harboring FMMs (mean age 49.4 years; 124 females). The authors classified the FMMs into 4 types according to the previous classification of Bruneau and George as follows: Type A (n = 49, 26.5%), the dural attachment of the lesion grows below the vertebral artery (VA); Type B (n = 39, 21.1%), the dural attachment of the lesion grows above the VA; Type C1 (n = 84, 45.4%), the VA courses across the lesion with or without VA encasement or large lesions grow both above and below the bilateral VA; and Type C2 (n = 13, 7.0%), Type C1 plus partial/total encasement of the VA and extradural growth.

RESULTS The median preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score was 80. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 154 patients (83.2%). Lower cranial nerve morbidity was lowest in Type A lesions (16.3%). Type C2 lesions were inherently larger (p = 0.001), had a greater percentage of ventrolateral location (p = 0.009) and VA encase-ment (p < 0.001), lower GTR rate (p < 0.001), longer surgical duration (p = 0.015), higher morbidity (38.5%), higher P/R rate (30.8%, p = 0.009), and poorer recent KPS score compared with other types. After a mean follow-up duration of 110.3 months, the most recent follow-up data were obtained in 163 patients (88.1%). P/R was observed in 13 patients (7.2%). The median follow-up KPS score was 90. Compared with preoperative status, recent neurological status was improved in 91 (49.2%), stabilized in 76 (41.1%), and worsened in 18 (9.7%) patients. The multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression model demonstrated Type C2 (HR 3.94, 95% CI 1.04–15.0, p = 0.044), nontotal resection (HR 6.30, 95% CI 1.91–20.8, p = 0.003), and pathological mitosis (HR 7.11, 95% CI 1.96–25.8, p = 0.003) as independent adverse predictors for tumor P/R. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified nontotal resection (OR 4.06, 95% CI 1.16–14.2, p = 0.029) and pathological mitosis (OR 6.29, 95% CI 1.47–27.0, p = 0.013) as independent risks for poor outcome (KPS score < 80).

CONCLUSIONS The modified classification helped to predict surgical outcome and P/R in addition to the position of the lower cranial nerves. Preoperative imaging studies and neurological function should be reviewed carefully to establish an individualized management strategy to improve long-term outcome.

Successful treatment of multiple intracranial meningiomas with the antiprogesterone receptor agent mifepristone (RU486)


Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:1831–1835

Meningiomas are the most frequent primary brain tumor in adults. Evidence suggests that female sex hormones play a role in the meningioma tumorigenesis. In particular, progesterone, has a receptor (PR) that is highly expressed in the majority of grade I meningiomas. Multiple meningiomas (diffuse meningiomatosis) are less frequent, but have a higher female predominance and a higher PR expression. They are, therefore, attractive candidates for anti-PR therapy.

Methods We treated three consecutive women with multiple meningiomas with mifepristone (RU 486). It is a synthetic steroid with high affinity for both progesterone and glucocorticoid receptors. Results The treatment was well tolerated, and we observed an important and long-lasting clinical (3/3) and radiological response (2/3) or stabilisation. All the three patients are now stable after five to nine years of treatment.

Conclusions These encouraging results strongly support a prospective clinical trial in this preselected population.

The epidural approach to the Meckel’s cave

The epidural approach to the Meckel’s cave- a how I do it

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:217–220

Meckel’s cave (MC) is a meningeal cleft lying in the middle fossa laterally to the cavernous sinus. Tumours that develop inside the MC may require a surgical resection. The authors describe the surgical technique of the intracranial epidural approach to the MC.

Methods Based upon anatomical dissection showing the relevant surgical anatomy, and illustrated by the video of an operated case, the authors detail the surgical procedure. The key point is to shave the floor of the middle fossa and skeletonize the superior orbital fissure, rotundum and ovale foramen in order to delineate the plane of dural elevation and expose the lateral wall of the MC. The rules of exposure and resection of the tumour are then shown. Variations and limitations of the approach are discussed.

Conclusion Conducted in a stepwise manner and following relevant landmarks, the epidural anterolateral approach offers a safe and reliable exposure to the diseases that develop within the MC.

Foramen magnum meningiomas: To drill or not to drill the occipital condyle?


Surg Neurol Int 2013;4:73

Despite the development of microsurgery and cranial base techniques, the surgical management of Foramen Magnum Meningiomas (FMM) continues to be a technical challenge to neurosurgeons. Controversy concerning the utility of systematic condyle drilling for approaching FMM has been raised. Our aim was to describe the surgical technique, analyze its safety, and the postoperative outcome in 12 consecutive FMM patients.

Methods: From 1986 to 2011,12 patients with FMM underwent operations in the Department of Neurosurgery at Servidores do Estado Hospital and in a private clinic. All patients were operated using a standard suboccipital craniectomy, preserving the occipital condyle, opening of the Foramen Magnum, and ipsilateral removal of the posterior arch of C1.

Results: There was no operative mortality, nine patients achieved Glasgow Outcome Scale 4 or 5. Condylar resection was not deemed necessary in any case. Gross total resection was achieved in nine patients. After surgery, four patients developed lower cranial nerve weakness. There was no significant postoperative complication in the remaining patients. The average follow-up is 8.2 years.

Conclusion: The vast majority of FMM can be safely removed with a retrocondylar lateral suboccipital approach without condylar resection, using meticulous microsurgical techniques.

Management of Anterolateral Foramen Magnum Meningiomas: Surgical Vs Conservative Decision Making

Neurosurgery 67[ONS Suppl 1]:ons00-ons00, 2010. DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000382971.63877.DD

Anterolateral meningiomas of the foramen magnum (FMMs) represent a neurosurgical challenge because they grow in close contact with osteoarticular, nervous, and vascular structures that cannot be sacrificed or retracted. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate our strategy and results in 26 patients with FMMs and analyze factors affecting the decision-making process, resection, and outcome. METHODS: Among 26 consecutive symptomatic FMM (10 anterior, 16 lateral) patients (16 women, 10 men, ages 28-82 years), 4 older than 70 years of age were untreated. Twentytwo were operated on using a posterolateral approach, with the vertebral artery transposed in 19 and the occipital condyle drilled in 10. We analyzed the characteristics and outcome of untreated cases, the utility of THE occipital condyle drilled, the difficulties of microdissection, morbidity and total removal rates, the outcome of tumor residues, and the literature on radiosurgery. RESULTS: Three of 4 untreated patients remained clinically stable at 2 to 5 years. After systematic vertebral artery medial transposition and occipital condyle drilled in 6 cases, our technique evolved with experience in the next 16 (vertebral artery transposed in 13 of 16; occipital condyle drilled in 4 of 13) for dissecting anteriorly beyond midline (anterior FMMs). Retrocondylar access was sufficient for lateral FMMs. Tumors were totally removed in 16 of 22 (73%). One patient died, and 4 had permanent deficits. Follow-up of more than 5 years in 12 patients showed no C0-1 instability, and slight increase of tumor residue size 7 years after surgery. In the literature, 15 FMMs treated with radiosurgery are reported, 13 at diagnosis and 2 at recurrence, with short-term clinical and radiological safety and efficacy. CONCLUSION:We currently recommend (1) aiming for subtotal removal in difficult cases, (2) remaining conservative in asymptomatic or elderly patients with mild symptoms, and (3) considering radiosurgery at diagnosis for small (<30 mm) symptomatic FMMs or as an adjunct for evolving residues/recurrences in poor candidates for resection.

Different microsurgical approaches to meningiomas of the anterior cranial base

Acta Neurochir (2010) 152:931–939. DOI 10.1007/s00701-010-0646-1

Meningiomas of the anterior skull base show specific characteristics, which render them difficult to handle. These tumors include olfactory groove, supra- and parasellar, anterior sphenoid ridge, cavernous sinus, and spheno-orbital meningiomas. Tumor localization and size, encasement of important structures as well as the extent of dural attachment may influence the decision for an adequate approach.

Discussion Various approaches to the anterior cranial fossa exist, each with corresponding advantages and disadvantages. Recently, endoscopic approaches have increasingly been used. In this review, the different approaches to meningiomas of the anterior cranial fossa in respect of anatomical issues, indications, and associated risks are discussed.