Ninety-nine patients who underwent 113 craniotomies at the Institute of Neurosurgery, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy between 1984 and 2010 were entered this study. The relationship between surgical approach (bifrontal, fronto-orbito-basal, and pterional) and either tumor diameter, extent of tumor resection, complication rate, need of reoperation, and Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) was analyzed. The impact of age (≤ 70 vs. > 70 years), sex, tumor diameter (< 6 vs. ≥ 6 cm), pre- and postoperative KPS (< 80 vs. ≥ 80), Simpson grade (I-II vs. III-IV), and World Health Organization (WHO) histologic grade (I vs. II-III) on survival was assessed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were plotted and differences in survival between groups of patients were compared. A multivariate analysis adjusted for age, pre- and postoperative KPS, Simpson grade, tumor diameter, and WHO histologic grade also was performed.
The fronto-orbito-basal approach (n = 22) allowed a significantly greater percentage of Simpson I-II removals than the bifrontal (n = 70) and pterional approach (n = 21) (P = 0.0354 and P = 0.0485, respectively). The risk of life-threatening complications trended to be lower in patients operated upon either via the fronto-orbito-basal and via the pterional approach than in those treated via the bifrontal approach. Retraction-related brain swelling did not occur in any case after the fronto-orbito-basal approach (P = 0.0384); however, this approach was associated with a greater rate of cerebrospinal fluid leak (P = 0.0011). Among prognostic factors, age ≤ 70 years (P = 0.0044), tumor diameter <6 cm (P = 0.0455), pre- and postoperative KPS ≥ 80 (both P < 0.0001), Simpson grade I-II (P = 0.0096), and WHO histologic grade I (P = 0.0112) were significantly associated with longer overall survival. Age (P = 0.0393) and WHO histologic grade (P = 0.0418) emerged as independent prognostic factors for overall survival on multivariate analysis.
In the largest series of OGMs published to date, the bifrontal approach was associated with a greater risk of life-threatening complications compared with the lateral pterional and fronto-orbito-basal approaches. The fronto-orbito-basal approach provided greater chances of total tumor removal than the bifrontal and pterional approaches. Two independent factors for overall survival of patients with OGM were identified, namely age and WHO grade