Neurosurgery

Types of Meningiomas

Meningiomas are a common type of brain tumor that develops slowly in the meninges, or the area that covers and protects the brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas are benign and can vary greatly in size and location. Mount Sinai neurosurgeons and specialist teams are skilled at recognizing and treating various types of meningiomas. We oversee more than 500 benign brain tumor patients a year. We treat both brain and spine meningiomas.

Brain Meningiomas

Most meningiomas occur in the brain. We treat many types of meningiomas, including:

  • Convexity meningiomas usually grow towards the front of the brain, on its surface. Almost 20 percent of meningiomas fall into this category. We usually do not see any symptoms until the tumor becomes large. At that point, you may experience seizures, headaches, and changes in vision, as well as neurological impairment. 
  • Falcine and parasagittal meningiomas grow between the two sides of the brain, where there are many large blood vessels. This type of tumor can interfere with blood circulation in the brain, if it is sitting on surrounding blood vessels.
  • Intraventricular meningiomas grow within the ventricles of the brain, which carry cerebrospinal fluid. A tumor in this area can block the flow of the fluid and can produce headaches and dizziness.

Skull Base Meningiomas

Skull base mengiomas grow under the brain and along the base of skull. These tumors may be more difficult to remove surgically than brain meningiomas because they may be on or near the bones of the skull. Skull base meningiomas include:

  • Cavernous sinus meningiomas are rare tumors that affect the cavernous sinus, an area that controls eye movement and allows your face to feel sensations. Cavernous sinus meningiomas can cause double vision, dizziness and facial pain.
  • Clival meningiomas are located on the underside of the cerebrum within the posterior cranial fossa. These types of meningiomas often grow as part of a larger lesion within the sphenoid bone. 
  • Foramen magnum meningiomas start off in the hole in the base of the skull that the spinal cord passes through (called the foramen magnum).
  • Olfactory groove meningiomas grow near the olfactory nerve, located between the brain and the nose. If you have an olfactory meningioma, you could lose your sense of smell. If the tumor becomes very large, it can affect your vision. 
  • Posterior fossa / petrous meningiomas are located on the underside of the brain. They can cause facial pain, such as trigeminal neuralgia, and can produce spasms in the face. 
  • Sphenoid wing meningiomas form on the sphenoid ridge behind the eyes. These meningiomas can cause visual problems and facial numbness. In severe cases, they can cause blindness.
  • Spinal meningiomas are less common than other types of skull base meningiomas and typically occur in middle-aged women. The tumors press against the spinal cord in the thoracic region of the chest and can cause back pain, numbness, and tingling.
  • Suprasellar meningiomas develop near the pituitary gland and optic nerve at the base of the skull. These types of meningiomas grow slowly and can cause severe visual impairment in one or both eyes. 
  • Tentorial meningiomas are rare tumors located along the surface of the tentorium cerebella in the brain. These types of posterior fossa meningiomas can cause headaches, seizures, and difficulty walking.