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Petrous Face Meningiomas: Classification, Clinical Syndromes, and Surgical Outcomes



Petrous face meningiomas (PFMs) are challenging tumors because of their proximity to the cranial nerves, brainstem, and critical vasculature. The objective of this study is to present surgical outcomes and support an anatomic classification for PFM based on clinical presentation.


A retrospective chart review was performed, and 51 PFMs were identified. Tumors were classified by location along the petrous face into anterior, middle, and posterior. Presentation and outcomes were analyzed with logistic regression.


The median follow-up was 31.6 months. Tumors were World Health Organization grade I (n = 50), with 1 World Health Organization grade II tumor. Location was anterior (22%), middle (14%), posterior (53%), and overlapping (12%). Median tumor diameter was 3.0 cm (range, 0.8-6.2 cm). Anterior location was associated with facial pain/numbness on presentation (P < 0.0001), middle location with hearing loss/vestibular dysfunction (P = 0.0035), and posterior with hydrocephalus (P = 0.0190), headache (P = 0.0039), and vertigo (P = 0.0265). Extent of resection was gross total (63%), near total (14%), and subtotal (25%). The observed radiographic recurrence rate was 15%. Mean progression-free survival after diagnosis was 9.1 years with 2-year, 5-year, and 10-year progression-free survival of 91.8%, 78.6%, and 62.9%, respectively. The complication rate was 27%. Age, location, and approach were not associated with complications.


PFMs present with distinct clinical syndromes based on their location along the petrous face: anterior with trigeminal symptoms, middle with auditory/vestibular symptoms, and posterior with symptoms of mass effect/hydrocephalous. Surgical resection is associated with excellent long-term survival and a low rate of recurrence, which can be managed with radiotherapy.

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