Relationship between apathy and tumor location, size, and brain edema in patients with intracranial meningioma

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Background: The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between apathy and tumor location, size, and brain edema in patients with intracranial meningioma. Methods: We enrolled 65 consecutive patients with meningioma and 31 normal controls matched for age, gender, and education. The patients were divided into frontal or non-frontal (NF) meningioma groups based on magnetic resonance imaging; the frontal group was then subdivided to dorsolateral frontal (DLF), medial frontal (MF), and ventral frontal (VF) groups. Tumor size and brain edema were also recorded. Apathy was assessed by the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). Assessments were carried out 1 week before and 3 months after surgery, respectively. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the predictive effect of tumor size, location, and brain edema on apathy. Analysis of variance and chi-square analysis were applied to compare apathy scores and apathy rates among the frontal, NF, and normal control groups, and all subgroups within the frontal group. Results: Compared with the NF and control groups, the mean AES score was much higher in the frontal group (34.0±8.3 versus 28.63±6.0, P=0.008, and 26.8±4.2, P<0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that AES scores in the MF group (42.1±6.6) and VF group (34.7±8.0) were higher than in the DLF group (28.5±4.36), NF group, and control group (P<0.05). The apathy rate was 63.6% in the MF group and 25% in the VF group, and significantly higher than in the DLF (5.6%), NF (5.3%), and control (0%) groups (P<0.001). A moderate correlation was found between AES score and mean diameter of the meningioma in all patient groups. Further analysis demonstrated that the correlation existed in the DLF (r=0.52, P=0.032), MF (r=0.84, P<0.001), and VF (r=0.64, P=0.008) groups, but not in the NF group (r=0.19, P=0.448). The AES score was much higher in patients with brain edema than in those without brain edema (34.73±8.28 versus 28.77±4.20, t=3.545, P=0.001). In subgroups within frontal meningioma patients, the statistical significance above only existed in the MF group (43.50±5.26 versus 25.67±6.03, P=0.001). Also, we examined the effect of related factors, such as age, sex, education, tumor size, tumor location and edema on the occurrence of apathy. The binary logistic regression analysis showed that MF [P=0.023, Exp(B) =145.6] and size [P=0.012, Exp(B) =1.20] got into the regression equation. Thirty-two patients underwent follow-up post-surgery. A significant reduction in AES was found in the MF group (AES1 – AES2 =6.86±6.82, t=2.68, P=0.04), but not in any of the other groups. Conclusion: Apathy occurs frequently in patients with frontal meningioma, and is more severe, especially in the MF region. Apathy is probably correlated with tumor location and size. Brain edema might increase the severity of apathy.




Peng, Y., Shao, C., Gong, Y., Wu, X., Tang, W., & Shi, S. (2015). Relationship between apathy and tumor location, size, and brain edema in patients with intracranial meningioma. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 11, 1685–1693.

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