Meningioma in cats

Written on February 11, 2012 by Mark Troxel, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology) Hospital: Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Meningioma is the most common brain tumor (60%) in cats.   Clinical signs depend on lesion location, but common signs include seizures, circling, behavior change, as well as non-specific signs of lethargy and decreased appetite.  MRI is usually diagnostic, although surgical biopsy is required to definitively diagnose a meningioma.  The MRI image above shows a typical meningioma.  As was the case for this patient, meningiomas are often located superficially over the cerebral hemispheres and can be readily accessed.  Surgical excision is the treatment of choice.  Unlike dogs, meningiomas in cats usually do not invade into brain tissue and are easily removed in their entirety (like a peanut coming out of a shell).  Most cats do very well following surgery. It’s not uncommon for a patient to survive many years before a new meningioma arises or the patient develops an unrelated disease (e.g., chronic kidney disease). The average survival time is 2 years, but complete surgical excision can be curative.

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