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Meningiomas of the cranial base.

  • Desai, R
  • Bruce, J
Published Article
Journal of neuro-oncology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1994
PMID: 7844622


Treatment objectives for meningiomas of the cranial base include relief of neurologic disability and prevention of clinical progression or recurrence with the least morbidity. Recent advances in skull base surgical techniques, through an appreciation of skull base anatomy and institutional specialization, have contributed major improvements to the outlook for patients with these tumors, and previously inoperable cases may now often be removed completely with acceptable risk. Since significant morbidity may be incurred during surgical resection of these difficult lesions, especially in terms of cranial nerve dysfunction, the value of aggressive surgical resection must be weighted against the often indolent natural history of these lesions, and must be individualized in each patient. Completeness of resection is the major prognostic factor determining the outcome of patients with typical benign meningiomas in terms of length of survival, risk of recurrence, and neurological disability. Various means of prognosticating the growth potential of a given tumor are being investigated, though none have yet been confirmed for their predictive value in typical, histologically benign meningiomas. The role of external beam radiotherapy has not been subjected to adequately controlled, prospective studies, and there is currently insufficient followup to assess the risks and benefits of stereotactic radiosurgery. Advances in the clinical management of tumors of the skull base has had perhaps the greatest impact for patients with meningiomas who constitute a large portion of tumors seen in these locations. Although the majority have benign histological features, skull base meningiomas can present a formidable challenge due to their proximity to vital structures, surgical inaccessibility, and occasional aggressive features. The combination in recent years of advances in skull base surgical techniques, adjuvant therapy, and rehabilitation methods have dramatically improved the outcome for these tumors.

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