Author(s): Han JH
PURPOSE: To analyze the long-term outcomes in patients with skull base meningiomas (SBMNGs) treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS).
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Of the 98 consecutive patients with SBMNGs treated with GKRS between 1998 and 2002, 63 were followed up for more than 48 months. The mean (+/-SD) age of the patients was 50 +/- 12 years, the mean tumor volume was 6.5 cm(3) (range, 0.5-18.4 cm(3)), the mean marginal dose was 12.6 Gy (range, 7.0-20.0 Gy), and the mean follow-up duration was 77 +/- 18 months. The mean number of shots was 13.7 +/- 3.8. The tumor volume was decreased at the last follow-up in 28 patients (44.4%) and increased in 6 (9.6%). The actuarial tumor control rate was 90.2% at 5 years. No notable prognostic factor related to tumor control was identified. Ten patients (15.9%) with a cranial neuropathy showed unfavorable outcomes. The rate of improvement in patients with a cranial neuropathy was 45.1%. Age >70 years was likely correlated with an unfavorable outcome in patients with cranial neuropathy (odds ratio = 0.027; p = 0.025; 95% confidence interval 0.001-0.632). Cavernous sinus location was significantly associated with improvement of a cranial neuropathy (odds ratio = 7.314; p = 0.007; 95% confidence interval 1.707-31.34).
CONCLUSIONS: Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an effective modality for the treatment of SBMNGs and provides favorable outcomes in patients with cranial neuropathy, even in the long-term follow-up period. However, radiosurgery for patients with no or only mild symptoms should be performed cautiously because neither complication rate is low enough to be negligible, especially in elderly patients. A cranial neuropathy by MNGs involving the cavernous sinus seems to have a higher chance of improvement after radiosurgery than other SBMNGs.