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Olfactory function in patients with olfactory groove meningioma


OBJECTIVES Olfactory meningiomas are rare benign tumours and represent about 12% of all basal meningiomas. Anosmia is thought to be among the first symptoms, even though patients often present with headaches or visual problems. However, so far no detailed physophysical tests of olfactory function have been performed in a large number of those patients.

METHODS Twelve patients (five men, seven women; mean age 52 years) with olfactory meningiomas were examined. In all patients extensive preoperative and postoperative lateralised olfactory testing was performed using the “Sniffin' Sticks” test battery, a psychometric testing tool. In eight cases the meningioma was lateralised (five left, three right), in four patients a bilateral meningioma was found. In addition to a detailed ear, nose, and throat examination MRI was performed in all patients.

RESULTS In preoperative testing six patients were found to be anosmic on the side of the tumour, two were hyposmic. Four patients were normosmic. Postoperative investigations showed lateralised anosmia in four patients on the operated side, three were normosmic on the contralateral side and one hyposmic. The remaining eight patients were completely anosmic postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS (1) Contrary to expectations, olfactory testing seems to be of little help in detecting olfactory meningiomas. (2) The likelihood of normal postoperative olfactory function contralateral to the tumour was high when the tumour was less than 3 cm in diameter and preoperative normosmia had been established. (3) Preservation of olfactory function ipsilateral to the tumour seems to be extremely difficult, irrespective of tumour size or surgical approach.

  • olfactory function
  • olfactory groove meningioma

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