Pre- and postoperative headache in patients with meningioma

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Guenther, Franziska
Swozil, Ferdinand
Heber, Stefan
Buchfelder, Michael
Messlinger, Karl
Fischer, Michael JM
SAGE Publications

Background Meningiomas are generally slowly growing intracranial tumors. They are often incidentally diagnosed, given that symptoms may be absent even in cases of an enormous tumor size. Headache is a frequent but not consistent symptom. Therefore, we examined the association between structural, biochemical and histochemical tumor parameters with preoperative as well as postoperative occurrence of headache.

Methods In our study, we prospectively investigated 69 consecutive patients enrolled for meningioma neurosurgery. Anatomical, histological and biochemical parameters were acquired, and headache parameters were registered from the clinical report and from a questionnaire filled by the patients before neurosurgery. The headache was re-evaluated one year after neurosurgery. The study was designed to exploratively investigate whether there is an association of acquired clinical and biological parameters with the occurrence of preoperative and postoperative headache.

Results Edema diameter and the proliferation marker MIB-1 were negatively associated with the incidence and intensity of preoperative headache, while the content of prostaglandin E2 in the tumor tissue was positively associated with preoperative headache intensity. Headache was more prevalent when the meningioma was located in the area supplied by the ophthalmic trigeminal branch. Compared to preoperative headache levels, an overall reduction was observed one year postoperative, and patients with a larger tumor had a higher headache remission. In parietal and occipital meningiomas and in those with a larger edema, the percentage of the headache remission rate was higher compared to other locations or smaller edema. Multivariable analyses showed an involvement of substance P and prostaglandin E2 in preoperative headache.

Conclusions The study demonstrates new associations between meningiomas and headache. The postoperative headache outcome in the presented patient sample is encouraging for the performed neurosurgical intervention. These results should be tested in a prospective study that incorporates all patients with meningiomas.

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