Olfactory Groove Meningioma

The Mount Sinai Health System specializes in diagnosing and treating olfactory groove meningiomas, which are benign growths that form deep in the cranial cavity between the brow and nose in the front part of the base of the skull. Our multidisciplinary team of physicians has the experience to provide a range of options for management and care during all stages of treatment. We develop individualized treatment plans based on the location, size, and grade of the tumor as well as your age and health.

Olfactory groove meningiomas are typically non-cancerous and represent about 10 percent of all meningiomas, according to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). They are almost always Grade I, under the World Health Organization’s classification of meningiomas.

If you have an olfactory groove meningioma, you probably will not experience any symptoms until the tumor grows to a large size. Tumors in this location may cause symptoms such as loss of smell and taste, blurred vision, memory loss, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and personality changes. Since symptoms are not always present, we often do not find olfactory groove meningiomas until we perform a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for an unrelated reason.

Treatment Available

Depending on the tumor itself and your health, we consider several treatment approaches. If you have other medical conditions, we may take a conservative approach, such as frequent imaging and observation.  

A more traditional approach is performing surgical removal (resection) of the tumor. We can use minimally invasive techniques such as transnasal endoscopic surgery (removal through the nose) for small tumors that we can reach easily. Another option is a craniotomy, which involves removing part of the skull, resecting the tumor, then putting the skull bone back in place. Once we remove the tumor, only about five percent of resected benign meningiomas recur, according to the ABTA.

We encourage you to get up and walk as soon as possible after the procedure, but you should avoid heavy lifting. Your neurosurgeon will see you within a week or two after the procedure.  Recovery times vary, based on your overall health and the tumor’s size, location, and growth rate. We might be able to discharge you within one to three days after the procedure, though a more involved surgery might require a longer hospital stay.