Surgical resection of calvarial metastases overlying dural sinuses

Christopher B. Michael, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Franco DeMonte, Ian E. McCutcheon, Raymond Sawaya, Frederick F. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Few reports have addressed the surgical management of cranial metastases that overlie or invade the dural venous sinuses. To examine the role of surgery in the treatment of dural sinus calvarial metastases, we reviewed retrospectively 13 patients who were treated with surgery at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center between 1993 and 1999. We compared them with 14 patients who had calvarial metastases that did not involve a venous sinus. METHODS: Clinical charts, radiological studies, pathological findings, and operative reports were analyzed retrospectively. RESULTS: The median age of patients with dural sinus calvarial metastases was 54 years. Nine patients were men and four were women. Renal cell carcinoma and sarcoma were the most common primary tumors. Similar features were noted in the 14 patients with nonsinus calvarial metastases. Of the 13 dural sinus calvarial metastases, 11 involved the superior sagittal sinus, and 2 involved the transverse sinus. In nine patients, the involved sinus was resected, and in four patients, the sinus was reconstituted after tumor removal. Nine patients in the dural sinus calvarial metastases group received en bloc resection, and four received piecemeal resection. No operative deaths occurred. The overall median actuarial survival was 16.5 months. The survival times of the two groups were comparable. In the group with dural sinus calvarial metastases, transient postoperative neurological deficits occurred in two patients (15%), and a permanent deficit occurred in one patient (8%). No patients in the group with nonsinus calvarial metastases experienced deficits after resection. Compared with piecemeal resection, en bloc resection was associated with significantly less blood loss. CONCLUSION: Complete extirpation of calvarial metastases that overlie or invade a dural sinus can be achieved with only slightly more morbidity than complete removal of calvarial metastases that are located away from the sinuses. En bloc resection is as safe as piecemeal resection and is more effective in limiting operative blood loss. The overall recurrence and survival rates of patients with dural sinus calvarial metastases are similar to those of patients with calvarial metastases that do not involve the sinuses. Therefore, involvement of a dural venous sinus should not discourage resection of calvarial metastases. In carefully selected cancer patients, surgery provides effective palliation of symptomatic calvarial metastases that overlie or invade the venous sinuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-755
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Calvaria
  • Cranium
  • Dural sinus
  • Metastasis
  • Sagittal sinus
  • Skull
  • Transverse sinus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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