BACKGROUND: The consistency of a meningioma is one of the important factors in determining the surgical outcome. If the surgeon is aware of the consistency of a meningioma preoperatively, the surgical plans will be influenced. A few papers have described the correlation between consistency of meningiomas and their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. However, prediction of consistency with MRI is still difficult. We have tried to predict the consistency of meningiomas with MRI findings more precisely. METHODS AND RESULTS: Fifty patients diagnosed as having intracranial meningiomas were studied with 1.5 Tesla MRI. We compared the MRI findings with tumor consistency. The intensities of the tumors were categorized into three grades (low, iso, and high) compared to that of the gray matter. T1- weighted images had no specifics, but T2-weighted images and proton density images were useful for the prediction of tumor consistency. Hyperintensity on protein density (PD) and T2-weighted images was a sign of a soft tumor. CONCLUSION: We presume that T2 and PD are useful for predicting consistency of meningiomas, and their water content is one of the main factors in their consistency. Histology may be one of the factors helpful in defining the consistency of a tumor. In this series, we found no relationship between histology and MRI findings, nor between histology and consistency. If the meningioma is believed to be hard, preoperative endovascular embolization is beneficial, which will induce necrosis of the meningioma and make it soft enough to be removed more easily and safely.
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