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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 1998 Feb;27(2):198-206. Korean. Original Article.
Moon SM , Koh YC , Koh HS , Kim CH , Lee HK , Ahn MS , Oh SM , Choi SK , Hwang DY .
Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea.

Several prognostic factors have been implicated in survival prolongation in patients with metastatic brain tumors. Among these, surgery has been regarded as very significant one with respect to life prolongation and improving the quality of survival in such patients. From August 1982 through July 1996, a series of 31 patients with metastatic brain tumors among 785 patients with operated brain tumors, whose medical records, X-rays and follow-ups were avilable, was studied retrospectively to evaluate the beneficial effects of surgery. Despite the limitations inherent to the retrospective study and limited number of patients, we divided these patients into two groups to find out any statistical differences in terms of survival and quality of survival among them: 1) Conservative group(8 nonoperated patients: 5 patients with biopsy or partial resection): 13, and 2) Surgical treatment group(17 totally resected patients: one patient with subtotal resection): 18. The quality of survival was assessed by Karnofsky performance(KP) scale before and after each treatment. The survival of the patients in the surgical treatment group was longer than the conservative treatment group(14.5 months/10 months), but this was not statistically significant(p value: 0.3305). However, improvement of quality of survival, in terms of KP scale, was significantly higher in the surgical treatment group(p value: 0.0027). Although confounded by the lack of controlled, randomized study and limitations of retrospective study, aggressive surgery can be regarded to have a significant role in improving the quality of survival in patients with metastatic brain tumors.

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