Meningiomas of the orbit: Contemporary considerations

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.
Neurosurgical FOCUS (Impact Factor: 2.11). 02/2001; 10(5):E5. DOI: 10.3171/foc.2001.10.5.6
Source: PubMed


Meningiomas are the most frequently occurring benign intracranial neoplasms. Compared with other intracranial neoplasms they grow slowly, and they are potentially amenable to a complete surgical cure. They cause neurological compromise by direct compression of adjacent neural structures. Orbital meningiomas are interesting because of their location. They can compress the optic nerve, the intraorbital contents, the contents of the superior orbital fissure, the cavernous sinus, and frontal and temporal lobes. Because of its proximity to eloquent neurological structures, this lesion often poses a formidable operative challenge. Recent advances in techniques such as preoperative embolization and new modifications to surgical approaches allow surgeons to achieve their surgery-related goals and ultimately optimum patient outcome. Preoperative embolization may be effective in reducing intraoperative blood loss and in improving intraoperative visualization of the tumor by reducing the amount of blood obscuring the field and allowing unhurried microdissection. Advances in surgical techniques allow the surgeon to gain unfettered exposure of the tumor while minimizing the manipulation of neural structures. Recent advances in technology--namely, frameless computer-assisted image guidance--assist the surgeon in the safe resection of these tumors. Image guidance is particularly useful when resecting the osseous portion of the tumor because the tissue does not shift with respect to the calibration frame. The authors discuss their experience and review the contemporary literature concerning meningiomas of the orbit and the care of patients harboring such lesions.

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