Clinical Research Papers:

Distinguishing grade I meningioma from higher grade meningiomas without biopsy

John Varlotto _, John Flickinger, Martin T. Pavelic, Charles S. Specht, Jonas M. Sheehan, Dana T. Timek, Michael J. Glantz, Steven Sogge, Christopher Dimaio, Richard Moser, Shakeeb Yunus, Thomas J. Fitzgerald, Urvashi Upadhyay, Paul Rava, Matthew Tangel, Aaron Yao and Sangam Kanekar

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:38421-38428. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5376

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John Varlotto1, John Flickinger2, Martin T. Pavelic3, Charles S. Specht4, Jonas M. Sheehan5,6, Dana T. Timek4, Michael J. Glantz5,6, Steven Sogge7, Christopher Dimaio8, Richard Moser9, Shakeeb Yunus10, Thomas J. Fitzgerald1, Urvashi Upadhyay9, Paul Rava1, Matthew Tangel11, Aaron Yao12, Sangam Kanekar7

1University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Worcester, MA, USA

2University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

3Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Anesthesia, New York, NY, USA

4Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Department of Pathology, Hershey, PA, USA

5Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Hershey, PA, USA

6Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, Hershey, PA, USA

7Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Hershey, PA, USA

8Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Department of Neurology, Hershey, PA, USA

9University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Division of Neurosurgery, Worcester, MA, USA

10University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Department of Medical Oncology, Worcester, MA, USA

11Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA

12Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA

Correspondence to:

John M. Varlotto, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: meningioma, MRI, cerebrovascular accident, tumor vascularity

Received: July 08, 2015     Accepted: September 28, 2015     Published: October 09, 2015


Background: Many meningiomas are identified by imaging and followed, with an assumption that they are WHO Grade I tumors. The purpose of our investigation is to find clinical or imaging predictors of WHO Grade II/III tumors to distinguish them from Grade I meningiomas.

Methods: Patients with a pathologic diagnosis of meningioma from 2002–2009 were included if they had pre-operative MRI studies and pathology for review. A Neuro-Pathologist reviewed and classified all tumors by WHO 2007. All Brain MRI imaging was reviewed by a Neuro-radiologist. Pathology and Radiology reviews were blinded from each other and clinical course. Recursive partitioning was used to create predictive models for identifying meningioma grades.

Results: Factors significantly correlating with a diagnosis of WHO Grade II-III tumors in univariate analysis: prior CVA (p = 0.005), CABG (p = 0.010), paresis (p = 0.008), vascularity index = 4/4: (p = 0.009), convexity vs other (p = 0.014), metabolic syndrome (p = 0.025), non-skull base (p = 0.041) and non-postmenopausal female (p = 0.045). Recursive partitioning analysis identified four categories: 1. prior CVA, 2. vascular index (vi) = 4 (no CVA), 3. premenopausal or male, vi < 4, no CVA. 4. Postmenopausal, vi < 4, no CVA with corresponding rates of 73, 54, 35 and 10% of being Grade II-III meningiomas.

Conclusions: Meningioma patients with prior CVA and those grade 4/4 vascularity are the most likely to have WHO Grade II-III tumors while post-menopausal women without these features are the most likely to have Grade I meningiomas. Further study of the associations of clinical and imaging factors with grade and clinical behavior are needed to better predict behavior of these tumors without biopsy.

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