Parasellar meningiomas in pregnancy: Surgical results and visual outcomes

Samuel Moscovici, Shifra Fraifeld, José E. Cohen, Shlomo Dotan, Uriel Elchalal, Yigal Shoshan, Sergey Spektor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Rapid visual deterioration may occur as the result of the quick growth of parasellar meningiomas in the high-hormone/increased fluid retention milieu of pregnancy; however, surgery before delivery entails increased maternalfetal risk. We present our experience in the management of parasellar meningiomas that compress the optic apparatus during pregnancy, with a focus on decisions regarding the timing of surgery.

Methods: Serial visual examinations and other clinical data for 11 women presenting from 2002 to 2012 with visual deterioration during pregnancy or delivery as the result of parasellar meningiomas involving the optic apparatus were reviewed. Indications for surgery during pregnancy included severely compromised vision, rapid visual deterioration, and early-to-midstage pregnancy with the potential for significant tumor growth and visual decrease before delivery. All patients underwent surgery with the use of skull base techniques via pterional craniotomy. An advanced extradural-intradural (i.e., Dolenc) approach, with modifications, was used in seven.

Results: All women achieved a Glasgow Outcome Score of 5 at discharge with no new neurologic deficits; all children are developing normally at a mean 4.5 years of age (range, 1e9.5 years). Surgery during pregnancy was recommended for six women: four operated at gestational weeks 20e23 had excellent postoperative visual recovery; two who delayed surgery until after delivery have permanent unilateral blindness. Among five others operated after delivery, four had good visual recovery and one has pronounced but correctable deficits. Three of five women diagnosed at gestational weeks 32e35 experienced spontaneous visual improvement after delivery, before surgery.

Conclusions: We recommend that surgery be offered to patients during pregnancy when a delay may result in severe permanent visual impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E503-E512
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Meningioma
  • Optic nerve
  • Pregnancy
  • Visual outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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