What are the indications for surgical resection of brain metastasis?

Updated: Aug 01, 2018
  • Author: Victor Tse, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Surgical resection is considered standard care for solitary metastases larger than 3 cm and in noneloquent areas of the brain.

Other indications for surgical resection include the following:

  • Limited and/or controlled systemic disease

  • Karnofsky score greater than 70

  • One symptomatic lesion with multiple asymptomatic lesions

Contraindications to surgery include a radiosensitive tumor (e.g., small-cell lung tumor), patient life expectancy < 3 months (WBRT indicated), and multiple lesions.

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

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