Foramen magnum meningiomas (FMMs) are challenging tumors. We report a classification system based on our experience of 107 tumors.
The three main algorithm criteria included the compartment of development of the tumor, its dural insertion, and its relation to the vertebral artery.
The compartment of development was most of the time intradural (101/107, 94.4%) and less frequently extradural (3/107, 2.8%) or both intra-extradural. (3/107, 2.8%). When developed inside the intradural compartment, FMMs were subdivided into posterior (6/104, 5.8%), lateral (57/104, 54.8%), and anterior (41/104, 39.4%), if their insertion was respectively posterior to the dentate ligament, anterior to the dentate ligament without or with extension over the midline. Anterior and lateral intradural lesions grew below (77/98, 78.6%), above (16/98, 16.3%), or on both sides (5/98, 5.1%) of the VA. Only three cases of extraduralFMMs (3/107, 2.8%) were resected by an antero-lateral approach while all the other ones (104/107, 97.2%) were removed successfully by a postero-lateral approach. Lower cranial nerves were displaced superiorly in FMM growing below the VA but their position cannot be anticipated in other situations.