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Neurosurgery. 2003 Sep;53(3):523-32; discussion 532-3.

Meningiomas involving the optic nerve: technical aspects and outcomes for a series of 50 patients.

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Department of Neurosurgery, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York 10019, USA.



Surgical strategies and results for 50 patients with meningiomas involving the optic nerves are discussed and evaluated. Factors affecting the degree of resection and patient outcomes are presented. We emphasize our surgical techniques for resection of these tumors and we discuss the advantages of different approaches, depending on the relationship of the tumor to the optic nerves.


Data for 50 patients with meningiomas involving the optic nerves who were surgically treated between 1991 and 2002 were reviewed, by using patient files, operative notes, and pre- and postoperative imaging and ophthalmological examination findings.


Thirty-one female patients and 19 male patients, with a mean age of 53 years, were treated. Thirty-one patients (62%) underwent complete tumor removal (Simpson Grade 1 or 2), and 19 patients underwent subtotal removal (Grade 4). Factors affecting the grade of resection were tumor size (P = 0.01), location (P = 0.007), and internal carotid artery encasement (P = 0.019). Patients who underwent Grade 1 or 2 resection exhibited a mean tumor size of 3.0 cm, and patients who underwent Grade 4 resection exhibited a mean tumor size of 4.1 cm. Only three patients had residual tumor on the optic nerve; all others had tumor in the cavernous sinus or at the orbital apex or exhibited vascular involvement. Visual outcomes were influenced predominantly by tumor size, preoperative visual function, and optic nerve encasement.


Meningiomas that involve the optic nerves require special considerations and surgical techniques. Early decompression of the optic nerve within the bony canal allows identification and separation of the tumor from the nerve, permitting removal of the tumor from this area with minimal manipulation of the optic nerve.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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