Clival Meningioma

Clival meningiomas occur in the base of the skull in the posterior fossa. They usually affect people in middle age and symptoms typically progress for about three years before diagnosis. At Mount Sinai, we have extensive experience treating clival meningiomas.

Symptoms can include:

  • Coordination problems (ataxia)
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Difficulty walking
  • Headaches
  • Hearing loss
  • Nausea
  • Optical disc swelling (papilledema)
  • Sensory problems
  • Vertigo (loss of balance)
  • Vision problems
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

We use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography scans to diagnose clival meningiomas.

Treatment Options

Usually the most effective treatment for a clival meningioma is to completely remove (resection) the tumor. Some tumors, though, may be in a location that makes it difficult to remove without affecting the brainstem, cranial nerves, and vital intracranial arteries. When appropriate, we may use a more minimally invasive endoscopic procedure where we perform the surgery through your nose.

Depending on the size of your tumor and the type of surgery, we can usually discharge you from the hospital after four to seven days. We typically know how long you will stay in the hospital within the first 48 hours. There are no dietary restrictions. Your first postoperative visit will be a week after surgery, so we can review your pathology results and plan any other therapy you might need.
If we perform your surgery endoscopically, you should be careful to avoid blowing your nose after the procedure. You will probably have nasal packing in your nose for about a week.