Meningiomas invading the superior sagittal sinus: Surgical experience in 108 cases

Francesco DiMeco, Khan W. Li, Cecilia Casali, Elisa Ciceri, Sergio Giombini, Graziella Filippini, Giovanni Broggi, Carlo L. Solero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Radical resection of meningiomas invading the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) presents several hazards. Some surgeons consider SSS invasion a contraindication for complete resection, and others advocate total resection with venous reconstruction. There is a lack of published large series to provide definitive guidelines for the surgical treatment of these complex cases. We report our 15-year experience with surgery of parasagittal meningiomas invading the SSS. METHODS: Between 1986 and 2001, 108 patients (73 women, 35 men; age range, 22-83 yr; mean age, 56.2 yr) underwent surgery at the Neurological Institute "C. Besta" of Milan for tumors invading the SSS. Parasagittal meningiomas not invading the SSS were excluded from this series. RESULTS: Simpson Grade I to II removal was achieved in 100 patients. Thirty patients with meningiomas totally occluding the SSS had complete resection of the encased portion of the sinus. Histological examination revealed 86 benign (79.6%), 16 atypical (14.8%), and 4 malignant (3.7%) meningiomas along with 2 hemangiopericytomas. There were two perioperative deaths. Serious complications included brain swelling (nine patients; 8.3%) and postoperative hematoma (two patients; 1.85%). Follow-up ranged from 19 to 223 months (mean, 79.5 mo). One patient was lost to follow-up. Tumors recurred in 15 patients (13.9%). After multivariate analysis, histological type, tumor size, and Simpson grade were confirmed as significant independent prognostic factors for recurrence. CONCLUSION: On the basis of our results, we conclude that if the sinus is partially invaded, it can be opened to obtain as complete a resection as possible and to attempt to preserve the patency of the sinus. If the sinus is obstructed, the portion of the sinus involved can be resected completely. In both situations, extreme care is vital to preservation of cortical veins, which may offer important collateral drainage. With our approach, good results are achieved and it is not necessary to reconstruct the sinus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1272
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Meningioma
  • Superior sagittal sinus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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