Neurology India
menu-bar5 Open access journal indexed with Index Medicus
  Users online: 3275  
 Home | Login 
About Editorial board Articlesmenu-bullet NSI Publicationsmenu-bullet Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe Videos Etcetera Contact
  Navigate Here 
 Resource Links
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (392 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this Article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded29    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Table of Contents    
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1314-1315

Large-to-giant petroclival meningiomas: The additional features in management

Department of Neurosurgery, AMRI Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Date of Web Publication17-Sep-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R N Bhattacharya
Department of Neurosurgery, AMRI Hospital, Dhakuria Gariahat Road, Near Dhakuria Railway Bridge, Kolkata - - 700 029, West Bengal
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.241381

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Bhattacharya R N. Large-to-giant petroclival meningiomas: The additional features in management. Neurol India 2018;66:1314-5

How to cite this URL:
Bhattacharya R N. Large-to-giant petroclival meningiomas: The additional features in management. Neurol India [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Dec 6];66:1314-5. Available from:

The natural history of petroclival meningiomas demonstrates progressive growth as well as brainstem compression and displacement, eventually leading to progressive neurological deficits and an inevitable death. [1,2] Before the 1970s, these tumors were considered as being inoperable;[3],[4],[5] even with advancements in the skull-base surgical techniques and in instrumentation, excision of these tumors is still a formidable task.

The authors of the study published in this issue of Neurology India [6] deserve compliments for the commendable work done by them related to the excision of large-to-giant petroclival meningiomas utilizing the middle fossa approach. The emphasis on the large number of patients recruited and their pain-staking follow up (with the mean duration of follow up being 35.77 months) is commendable. In the study, a great emphasis in the discussion has placed on comparing their data with other publications. The authors have classified petroclival meningiomas very aptly, based upon the surgical relevance, along with a historical overview, to ensure an easy understanding of the subject for the upcoming younger generation of neurosurgeons. Their comment on leaving a thin rim of tumor attached to the brainstem, and their emphasis on a serial follow-up to assess for progression, was very informative. The detailed steps of drilling of the bones of the skull base and their highlighting the inherent advantages of an easy devascularization of the tumor, if the approach is through the middle fossa or the pre-sigmoid route, is very illuminating.

There were a few short-comings of the articles too, which the surgeons dealing with these tumors should take note of; and therefore, highlighting these issues will serve to improve the management of these difficult-to-excise tumors. The actual technique recommended and pursued should be modified according to the specific situations the individual surgeons are confronted with in their own cases.

  1. A lot of patients come to tertiary care centers for surgical excision of petroclival meningiomas with either incompletely removed tumors or recurrent tumors. In the study, the selection criteria of whether the tumor being excised was primary or secondary has not been explained clearly. This is important as residual or recurrent tumors often lack a plane of cleavage. Furthermore, the tumor is notorious for being present in multiple subarachnoid cisterns around the brainstem and around neurovascular structures surrounding the brainstem. A lack of a proper arachnoidal plane often leads to an increased difficulty in performing complete resection and the development of additional postoperative neurological deficits.
  2. The causes of recurrence of the tumor have not been adequately discussed. Was the recurrence due to a histologically aggressive subtype of the tumor or was it due to an initial subtotal excision. In case it was due to the latter, why were these tumors not subjected to radiosurgery. In today's era, radiosurgery in an excellent modality for achieving recurrence-free survival in this group of tumors.
  3. An interesting issue was that several patients underwent a digital subtraction angiogram (DSA) to assess the displacement of major vessels by the tumor. Yet, no attempts were made to embolize the tumor which would have led to significant decrease in vascularity of the tumor and would have probably increased the ease of resection of these tumors. Failure to embolize these tumors could have been due to lack of facilities for performing interventional radiology; or, it could have been more of a philosophical issue, in that the displaced vessels are often difficult to negotiate using neurointervention, and often the distinction between a blood vessel supplying the tumor and that primarily supplying various brainstem structures may often be difficult to establish.
  4. Another important fact that the readers would definitely like to know is whether the staged procedures were planned preoperatively or were decided at the time of surgery, either due to a lack of plane of cleavage, or due to an existing inaccessibility in reaching the remnant tumor during surgery. An elective staged surgery either utilizing the same or a different approach would have been necessary in the event of a part of the tumor not being accessible by a single approach.
  5. One important drawback of the study was the loss of six patients at the follow-up evaluation. This has reduced the power of the study group and affected the significance of outcome.
  6. Six deaths in a series of 33 patients is a significant number but the different causes for mortality are well defined; it is also important to note that a poor preoperative grade as well as lower cranial nerve paresis and pneumonitis were the most important perioperative causes of mortality.
  7. In the study, in almost 31 patients, the tumor had crossed the midline in the premedullary, prepontine and interpeduncular cisterns. There was no discussion of how to prevent brainstem retraction in these patients, as this is an essential factor in achieving a better outcome for these patients. The need for the use of cerebral decongestants in the study also needs to be elaborated
  8. The reason for the postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage has also not been elaborated. Was it due to lack of dura (due to the coagulation of tumor attachment), lack of muscle cover, or a procedural inadequacy at an earlier stage of the study. The subsequent protocol to prevent CSF leak and to address the CSF leak postoperatively should have been clearly elucidated
  9. The use of neuro-physiological monitoring has been mentioned once in the study. This monitoring would have been very helpful in the intraoperative preservation of cranial nerve function
  10. Postoperative neuro-rehabilitation should also have been discussed in view of the postoperative cranial nerve palsies encountered in the authors' series
  11. How was progression of venous thrombosis around the brain stem and perforator compromise reduced. This too needs clarification.

  References Top

Sekhar L N Schramm V L, eds. Tumors of the Cranial Base: Diagnosis and Treatment. Mount Kisco, New York; Futura Publishers 1987.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kawase T, Shiobara R, Ohira T, Toya S. Developmental patterns and characteristic symptoms of petroclival meningiomas. Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo) 1996;36:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
Cushing HE, Eisenhardt. L. Meningiomas: Their classification, regional behaviour, life history, and surgical end result. New York: Hafner Publishers. 1962.  Back to cited text no. 3
Olivecrona HTW. Handbuch der neurochirurgie. Vol 4. Berlin, Germany: Springer; 1967.  Back to cited text no. 4
Van Havenbergh T Carvalho G, Tatagiba M, Plets C, Samii M. Natural history of petroclival meningiomas. Neurosurgery 2003;52:155-64.  Back to cited text no. 5
Gosal JS, Behari S, Joseph J, Jaiswal AK, Sardhara JC, Iqbal M, et al. Surgical excision of large-to-giant petroclival meningiomas focusing on the middle fossa approaches: The lessons learnt. Neurol India 2018;66:1434-46.  Back to cited text no. 6
  [Full text]  


Print this article  Email this article
Online since 20th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow