Purpose: To determine whether postoperative radiation therapy decreases recurrence rates in subtotally excised and recurrent sphenoid wing meningiomas. Methods: Patients with primary subtotally excised and recurrent sphenoid wing meningiomas who underwent surgery between 1981 and 1994 (n = 105) were prospectively followed for recurrence. Postoperative radiation was not recommended in patients who had complete excision; therefore, their recurrence rates were not evaluated in this study. Patients with malignant meningiomas also were excluded from analysis. Recurrence was defined as evidence of tumor growth on neuroimaging with or without clinical symptoms. Results: Follow-up information was available for 86 patients: 69 had primary subtotally excised tumors and 17 had recurrent tumors. Follow-up information was unavailable in the remaining 19 patients. Tumor location and histopathology, type of surgery performed, and patient sex and age were similar in the irradiated and nonirradiated subgroups. Postoperative irradiation was delivered to 31 patients with primary tumors and 11 with recurrent tumors; none of these 42 patients had recurrence during a mean observation period of 4.2 and 3.5 years, respectively. The nonirradiated group consisted of 38 patients with primary tumors and 6 with recurrent tumors; 16 of 18 patients who had primary meningiomas had a recurrence and 5 of 6 who had recurrent tumors had another relapse (mean interval between resection and recurrence, 4.4 years and 14 months, respectively). Conclusions: Postoperative radiation appeared to delay recurrence in subtotally excised and recurrent sphenoid wing meningiomas during the time frame of this study.
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