Author(s): Black P
GOAL: To assess the morbidity and mortality of meningioma surgery in patients over age 65 and compare our results with matched controls and with the present literature on meningioma surgery in the elderly. METHODS: An evaluation of 114 patients undergoing meningioma resection divided into two groups: 57 patients aged 65-87, and a control group of 57 patients aged 25-64 matched by ASA status and tumor site. Operative complications, 30-day mortality, and pre- and postoperative neurologic status were assessed with follow up one to three months.
RESULTS: Complication rates in the two groups were similar and were low. Four out of fifty-seven elderly patients (7.0%) had a surgical complication compared with five younger patients (8.8%) Excluding asymptomatic DVT detected by screening, three elderly patients had medical complications (5.2%) compared with two controls (3.5%). The vast majority of patients-93% of the elderly group and 89.4% in the controls--experienced either improvement or no change in neurologic status at followup one to three months after surgery. There was one death among elderly patients within thirty days for a mortality rate of 1.8% compared with no mortality in the case control group. The elderly patient who died was an 80-year old man who died of pneumonia in a rehabilitation hospital three weeks after surgery. Our study group of 57 patients was compared by tumor site and preoperative general health status to other series in the literature. In a review from the literature of 417 patients over age 65 who underwent meningioma surgery, the average 30-day mortality was 16%. The complication rate averaged 39%.
DISCUSSION: Our lower morbidity and mortality rates after meningioma surgery in the elderly may be a result of patient selection, surgical technique, or excellent pre- and post-operative care by the resident staff, anesthesiologists, and nurses. It suggests, however, that elderly patients can have meningioma surgery safely.