MedClinic > Blog > Neurosurgery > Brain meningioma

Removal of cerebral meningioma, a cancerous tumor that affects the dura mater of the brain, is not always possible due to its inaccessibility and high risk of complications. The disease is usually detected late since there are no signs of meningioma in the early stages.

Clinical picture

Meningioma affects mainly people aged 25 to 40 years, it is more common in women. In young children, this type of cancer of the brain occurs in extremely rare cases, due to a hereditary predisposition, or due to birth injuries of the cranium. Symptoms of the tumor can be general and local. Common symptoms of cerebral meningioma are:

  • severe headaches that worsen during night’s sleep;
  • decreased visual acuity;
  • double vision
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • impaired memory and mental functions;
  • epileptic seizures;
  • a weakness of the upper and lower extremities;
  • apathy.

Local signs of the tumor are determined by the location of cancer:

  • tubercle of the sella turcica: decreased visual acuity, complete blindness of one or both eyes;
  • rhino-olfactory meningioma: olfactory and mental hallucinations;
  • parasagittal meningioma: weakness and tremor in the lower extremities, inability to control the process of urination;
  • the spread of the tumor to the wing of the main cranial bone: visual impairment;
  • orbital meningioma: development of exophthalmos (one of the eyeballs begins to bulge);
  • temporal lobe: speech impairment, hearing loss;

What leads to this disease?

The causes of brain meningiomas remain unknown. Factors that can trigger tumor growth:

  • hereditary predisposition;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • radiation therapy;
  • malfunctions of the hormonal system.

Diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose meningiomas, a complete neurological examination of the patient is performed. To identify the nature of neoplasm, whether it is malignant or benign, a brain tumor biopsy is performed. If possible, an operation is performed to remove brain meningiomas so that it does not send metastases to healthy soft tissues and surrounding organs. The doctor chooses a treatment method based on the general condition of the patient, the severity of the symptomatic picture, the size of the tumor and, most importantly, its nature.

The use of a conservative treatment method is not ruled out. Taking medications is aimed at reducing swelling on the soft tissues and stopping the inflammatory process, if present. The main drugs for the treatment of cancer are glucocorticoids. Along with drug treatment of the tumor, symptomatic therapy is carried out, the purpose of which is to stop the signs of the development of a cancerous tumor in the brain.

Not in every case meningioma should be removed immediately. If the neoplasm is small, and there are no growth dynamics or it’s very slow, the patient is monitored, using frequent neurological examinations and magnetic resonance imaging.

As soon as the results show that the tumor has begun to rapidly grow in size, an operation will be prescribed during which the patient’s cranium is opened and the meningioma is removed as a whole, along with the capsule, soft tissues and parts of the bone tissue of the dura mater of the brain affected by cancer cells. When parts of the bone tissue are removed, cranial deformity appears, which is immediately corrected by cranioplasty.