The importance of considering competing risks in recurrence analysis of intracranial meningioma

Christian Mirian*, Lasse Rehné Jensen, Tareq A Juratli, Andrea Daniela Maier, Sverre H Torp, Helen A Shih, Ramin A Morshed, Jacob S Young, Stephen T Magill, Luca Bertero, Walter Stummer, Dorothee Cäcilia Spille, Benjamin Brokinkel, Soichi Oya, Satoru Miyawaki, Nobuhito Saito, Martin Proescholdt, Yasuhiro Kuroi, Konstantinos Gousias, Matthias SimonJennifer Moliterno, Ricardo Prat-Acin, Stéphane Goutagny, Vikram C Prabhu, John T Tsiang, Johannes Wach, Erdem Güresir, Junkoh Yamamoto, Young Zoon Kim, Joo Ho Lee, Matthew Koshy, Karthikeyan Perumal, Mustafa K Baskaya, Donald M Cannon, Dennis C Shrieve, Chang-Ok Suh, Jong Hee Chang, Maria Kamenova, Sven Straumann, Jehuda Soleman, Ilker Y Eyüpoglu, Tony Catalan, Austin Lui, Philip V Theodosopoulos, Michael W McDermott, Fang Wang, Fuyou Guo, Pedro Góes, Manoel Antonio de Paiva Neto, Aria Jamshidi, Ricardo Komotar, Michael Ivan, Evan Luther, Luis Souhami, Marie-Christine Guiot, Tamás Csonka, Toshiki Endo, Olivia Claire Barrett, Randy Jensen, Tejpal Gupta, Akash J Patel, Tiemo J Klisch, Jun Won Kim, Francesco Maiuri, Valeria Barresi, María Dolores Tabernero, Simon Skyrman, Anders Broechner, Mathias Jacobsen Bach, Ian Law, David Scheie, Bjarne Winther Kristensen, Tina Nørgaard Munch, Torstein Meling, Kåre Fugleholm, Paul Blanche, Tiit Mathiesen

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: The risk of recurrence is overestimated by the Kaplan-Meier method when competing events, such as death without recurrence, are present. Such overestimation can be avoided by using the Aalen-Johansen method, which is a direct extension of Kaplan-Meier that accounts for competing events. Meningiomas commonly occur in older individuals and have slow-growing properties, thereby warranting competing risk analysis. The extent to which competing events are considered in meningioma literature is unknown, and the consequences of using incorrect methodologies in meningioma recurrence risk analysis have not been investigated.

METHODS: We surveyed articles indexed on PubMed since 2020 to assess the usage of competing risk analysis in recent meningioma literature. To compare recurrence risk estimates obtained through Kaplan-Meier and Aalen-Johansen methods, we applied our international database comprising ~ 8,000 patients with a primary meningioma collected from 42 institutions.

RESULTS: Of 513 articles, 169 were eligible for full-text screening. There were 6,537 eligible cases from our PERNS database. The discrepancy between the results obtained by Kaplan-Meier and Aalen-Johansen was negligible among low-grade lesions and younger individuals. The discrepancy increased substantially in the patient groups associated with higher rates of competing events (older patients with high-grade lesions).

CONCLUSION: The importance of considering competing events in recurrence risk analysis is poorly recognized as only 6% of the studies we surveyed employed Aalen-Johansen analyses. Consequently, most of the previous literature has overestimated the risk of recurrence. The overestimation was negligible for studies involving low-grade lesions in younger individuals; however, overestimation might have been substantial for studies on high-grade lesions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Meningeal Neoplasms/pathology
  • Meningioma/pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Recurrence
  • Competing risk
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Meningioma


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