Diagnosis of Meningioma

Doctors use many tests to locate or diagnose a tumor and determine whether it is malignant. They may also conduct tests to assess and find out which suitable treatments are most likely to be effective. A biopsy or a surgical excision of a tumor is the only definite way for a doctor to know if an area of the body is cancerous or contains a tumor of any type. The doctor extracts a small tissue sample for laboratory testing during a biopsy. If a biopsy is not possible, the doctor may recommend alternative tests to help diagnose. 

This section discusses the many methods for diagnosing Meningioma. Not every patient has to administer the below mentioned tests. Your medical practitioner may consider the following steps or variables when selecting a diagnostic test.

  • The tumour type suspected
  • Symptoms and signs
  • Age and general well being
  • Outcomes of previous medical tests

One can surprisingly get to know about Meningioma by chance during surgery for another cause. However, until symptoms appear, Meningioma diagnosis can be misleading. A neuro – Oncologist, is a clinician who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of the brain. The neuro-oncologist will use a patient’s symptoms to determine the tumour’s location. In addition to a thorough medical history and a physical examination, the following tests may assist the doctor in deciding and also diagnosing.

Neurological, vision, and hearing tests

Neurological, vision, and hearing tests aid in determining how a suspected tumor affects the brain. An eye exam can detect alterations to the optic nerve caused by meningioma hypertension.

Stereotactic neurosurgery/biopsy

A doctor can perform a biopsy as part of a process known as stereotactic method. This method employs a needle guided to the tumor using computers and imaging tests. When the surgeon has direct access to cancer, he or she can perform the biopsy during surgery itself. On the other hand, frequently doctors excise Meningioma rather than conducting a biopsy separately. This means meningioma surgery is typically performed using an open craniotomy rather than stereotactic techniques. An open craniotomy is a type of surgery in which a portion of the skull is removed, the piece of the skull removed during the surgery is restored.

Imaging tests

Factually, the tumor’s location makes a biopsy dangerous. Therefore, doctors sometimes diagnose Meningioma using just the imaging techniques. The results are most helpful when imaging tests come together with the patient’s medical history, physical examination, and neurological tests. This combination aids in determining where the tumour originated and whether or not it has developed. The following are the most common imaging tests used to diagnose Meningioma:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) –
  • Not x-rays, but doctors prefer magnetic fields in an MRI to provide details of images of the body. Therefore, before the scan, doctors inject a specific dye into a patient’s vein to help create a crisper image. MRIs produce more detailed images than CT scans (see below), and they frequently reveal abnormalities in the brain caused by the tumour, such as swelling or places where the tumour has grown. MRI is the best way to diagnose Meningioma.

Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan –

  • A CT scan uses x-rays of the head from various angles to create brain images. A computer combines these images into a detailed, three-dimensional image that reveals anomalies or malignancies. To determine the size of the tumour, a doctor prefers a CT scan. They usually inject a special dye called a contrast medium into a patient’s vein before the scan to improve image detail. A CT scan is the best way to detect abnormalities in the skull caused by Meningioma. The hardness of the area around the tumour, for example, could indicate that the tumour has been there for an extended period.
X-ray –
  • A standard x-ray uses a modest amount of energy to picture the structures inside the body. An x-ray of the head is possible.
Cerebral angiogram –
  • A cerebral angiography is a type of x-ray of the head (or a series of x-rays) that depicts the arteries and veins in the brain. X-rays are taken after a specific dye called a contrast medium is injected into the brain’s main arteries. An angiography is sometimes necessary to schedule surgery because Meningioma can obstruct critical veins that drain blood from the brain. Furthermore, there may be aberrant blood arteries feeding the tumour, which can be observed on an angiography. The material is sometimes injected into the tumour before surgery to minimise bleeding.