Introduction: Anterior skull base meningiomas are frequently associated with changes in personality and behavior. Olfactory groove meningiomas take their origin from the cribriform plate and frontoethmoidal suture in the floor of the anterior cranial base. The cardinal clinical features usually observed are mental changes, visual deterioration, and headaches as a result of olfactory or optic nerve and frontal lobe compression. However, several authors have reported minimal changes in cognition or behavior following surgical resection, and many patients do not return to their premorbid level of function.
Case presentation: A 42-year-old male with four months history of changes in behavior, apathy, and lack of motivation. Over the course of two months, his vision progressively worsened in both eyes, and he developed a diffuse, mild headache. On examination, he was fully alert and cooperative. He only had light perception and could see faint silhouettes of people. All other neurological examinations were normal. Head Computed Tomography (CT) demonstrated a large, extra-axial mass consistent with an anterior skull base mass extending to the sellar and suprasellar region, which suggests an olfactory groove meningioma. The patient underwent a bifrontal approach craniotomy tumor resection and subsequently recovered from medial prefrontal syndrome following tumor resection. Surgical tissue pathology confirmed the diagnosis as an olfactory groove meningioma.
Discussion: The anatomical location of the olfactory groove meningioma may cause prolonged psychiatric symptoms before the onset of more overt neurological deficits. Personality changes that occur may be subtle, so patients may avoid seeking treatment for their headaches and delay ophthalmic care until their complaints become severe. Anterior skull base meningiomas often involve the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) that is associated with elevated levels of apathy.
Conclusion: Olfactory groove meningiomas are treatable. Reversal of cognitive impairments and changes in behavior can be expected after surgical resection.