Meningioma

The meninges are a protective lining around the brain and spinal cord. A meningioma is a tumor of these linings. Most meningiomas do not cause symptoms. But, if the meningioma grows, it can push on important parts of the brain. These tumors may be grade I, II, or III. Grade III is the most aggressive type. Malignant meningiomas, also called anaplastic, are less common. These tumors are faster growing and very likely to return.

  • Causes

    The exact cause of meningiomas is unknown. Factors that may be associated with these tumors include:

    • Genetic factors
    • Certain hormones

  • Definition

    The meninges are a protective lining around the brain and spinal cord. A meningioma is a tumor of these linings. Most meningiomas do not cause symptoms. But, if the meningioma grows, it can push on important parts of the brain. These tumors may be grade I, II, or III.

    Grade III is the most aggressive type. Malignant meningiomas, also called anaplastic, are less common. These tumors are faster growing and very likely to return.

    Meningioma
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  • Diagnosis

    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You will have a neurologic examination.

    Images of your head may need to be taken. This can be done with:

    • CT scan
    • MRI scan
    • Angiogram
    • Octreotide scan


    Your brain activity may need to be measured. This can be done with an
    electroencephalogram (EEG)
    .

    MRI of Meningioma in the Brain
    Meningioma MRI
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  • Prevention

    There are no guidelines for the prevention of meningiomas.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase the risk of meningioma include:

    • Sex: twice as common in women than men
    • Age: 40-70

    • History of
      breast cancer
      or sarcoma, as part of the Li-Fraumeni syndrome

    • A diagnosis of
      neurofibromatosis
      type 2
      (NF2)
    • Radiation exposure, especially to the head

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms of meningioma are usually related to the area of the brain that is affected. Symptoms can also be due to an increase in the pressure inside the skull. Symptoms may include:

    • Headaches
    • Vomiting
    • Double vision
    • Slurred speech
    • Changes in behavior
    • Seizures
    • Loss of sensation or weakness in the arms and legs
    • Loss of bladder or bowel control
    • Language deficits
    • Difficulty with learned movements
    • Loss of coordination
    • Difficulty writing
    • Intellectual difficulty

  • Treatment

    Treatment will depend on the size and location of the tumor, its rate of growth, and your general health. The main types of treatment for meningiomas are: