Emergency decompressive craniectomy after removal of convexity meningiomas

Paolo Missori, Maurizio Domenicucci, Sergio Paolini, Cristina Mancarella, Serena Tola, Alessandro D'Elia, Nicola Marotta, Arsen Seferi, Vincenzo Esposito

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BACKGROUND: Convexity meningiomas are benign brain tumors that are amenable to complete surgical resection and are associated with a low complication rate. The aim of this study was to identify factors that result in acute postoperative neurological worsening after the removal of convexity meningiomas.

METHODS: Clinical evaluation and neuroradiological analysis of patients who underwent removal of a supratentorial convexity meningioma were reviewed. Patients were selected when their postoperative course was complicated by acute neurological deterioration requiring decompressive craniectomy.

RESULTS: Six patients (mean age: 43.3 years) underwent surgical removal of a supratentorial convexity meningioma. Brain shift (mean: 9.9 mm) was evident on preoperative imaging due to lesions of varying size and perilesional edema. At various times postoperatively, patient consciousness worsened (up to decerebrate posture) with contralateral paresis and pupillary anisocoria. Computed tomography revealed no postoperative hematoma, however, did indicate increased brain edema and ventricular shift (mean: 12 mm). Emergency decompressive craniectomy and brief ventilator assistance were performed in all patients. Ischemia of the ipsilateral posterior cerebral artery occurred in 3 patients and hydrocephalus occurred in 2 patients. Outcome was good in 2, fair in 2, 1 patient had severe disability, and 1 patient died after 8 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Brain shift on preoperative imaging is a substantial risk factor for postoperative neurological worsening in young adult patients after the removal of convexity meningiomas. Emergency decompressive craniectomy must be considered because it is effective in most cases. Other than consciousness impairment, there is no reliable clinical landmark to guide the decision to perform decompressive craniectomy; however, brain ischemia may have already occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Journal Article


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