Current evidence regarding the benefit of preoperative embolization (POE) of meningiomas is inconclusive. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to evaluate the safety profile of the procedure and to compare outcomes in embolized versus non-embolized meningiomas. PubMed was queried for studies after January 1990 reporting outcomes of POE. Pertinent variables were extracted and synthesized from eligible articles. Heterogeneity was assessed using I2, and random-effects model was employed to calculate pooled 95% CI effect sizes. Publication bias was assessed using funnel plots and Harbord’s and Begg’s tests. Meta-analyses were used to assess estimated blood loss and operative duration (mean difference; MD), gross-total resection (odds ratio; OR), and postsurgical complications and postsurgical mortality (risk difference; RD). Thirty-four studies encompassing 1782 preoperatively embolized meningiomas were captured. The pooled immediate complication rate following embolization was 4.3% (34 studies, n = 1782). Although heterogeneity was moderate to high (I2 = 35-86%), meta-analyses showed no statistically significant differences in estimated blood loss (8 studies, n = 1050, MD = 13.9 cc, 95% CI = −101.3 to 129.1), operative duration (11 studies, n = 1887, MD = 2.4 min, 95% CI = −35.5 to 30.8), gross-total resection (6 studies, n = 1608, OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.8–1.5), postsurgical complications (12 studies, n = 2060, RD = 0.01, 95% CI = −0.04 to 0.07), and postsurgical mortality (12 studies, n = 2060, RD = 0.01, 95% CI = 0–0.01). Although POE is relatively safe, no clear benefit was observed in operative and postoperative outcomes. However, results must be interpreted with caution due to heterogeneity and selection bias between studies. Well-controlled future investigations are needed to define the patient population most likely to benefit from the procedure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Systematic review