Atypical and malignant meningiomas
- Helen A Shih, MD
Helen A Shih, MD
- Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
- Harvard Medical School
- Attending Radiation Oncologist
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- John K Park, MD, PhD
John K Park, MD, PhD
- National Institutes of Health
- Section Editors
- Jay S Loeffler, MD
Jay S Loeffler, MD
- Section Editor — Neurooncology
- Professor of Radiation Oncology
- Harvard Medical School
- Patrick Y Wen, MD
Patrick Y Wen, MD
- Section Editor — Neurooncology
- Professor of Neurology
- Harvard Medical School
Meningiomas account for approximately one-third of primary central nervous system tumors (table 1 and figure 1). Most meningiomas are benign (WHO grade I), although up to one-fifth of such tumors are classified as atypical (World Health Organization [WHO] grade II) or malignant (WHO grade III). (See "Meningioma: Epidemiology, risk factors, and pathology", section on 'Pathology'.)
The management of patients with meningioma requires a balance between definitive treatment of the tumor and avoidance of neurologic damage from the treatment. Patient-specific factors (eg, presence or absence of symptoms, age, comorbidity), the location of the meningioma in relation to critical brain structures and regions, and the histopathologic characteristics (WHO grade) of the meningioma all are important factors in determining the optimal treatment.
WHO grade II and grade III meningiomas will be reviewed here. Other topics on meningioma include:
●Epidemiology and risk factors (see "Meningioma: Epidemiology, risk factors, and pathology")
●Clinical presentation (see "Meningioma: Clinical presentation and diagnosis")
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