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Management of known or presumed benign (WHO grade I) meningioma

John K Park, MD, PhD
Helen A Shih, MD
Section Editors
Jay S Loeffler, MD
Patrick Y Wen, MD
Deputy Editor
April F Eichler, MD, MPH


Meningiomas account for approximately one-third of primary central nervous system tumors (table 1 and figure 1). Although most meningiomas are benign (World Health Organization [WHO] grade I), their location in the central nervous system can cause serious morbidity and/or mortality. (See "Incidence of primary brain tumors".)

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 (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.

Depending upon these characteristics, initial management for patients with a benign (WHO grade I) meningioma may consist of surgery, surgery plus radiation therapy, or radiation therapy alone. In addition, for some patients with small, asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic lesions patients may simply be monitored for evidence of tumor growth, with initial treatment deferred.

The initial management of benign (WHO grade I) meningiomas will be reviewed here. Related topics regarding the management of meningioma include:

(See "Epidemiology, pathology, clinical features, and diagnosis of meningioma".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 19, 2016.
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