Clinical Features of Precocious, Synchronous, and Metachronous Brain Metastases and the Role of Tumor Resection

Ichiyo Shibahara, Masayuki Kanamori, Takashi Watanabe, Akihiro Utsunomiya, Hiroyoshi Suzuki, Ryuta Saito, Yukihiko Sonoda, Hidefumi Jokura, Hiroshi Uenohara, Teiji Tominaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The purpose of this study was to clarify clinical features, outcomes, and the role of tumor resection in precocious, synchronous, and metachronous brain metastases. Methods: Brain metastases were found before primary cancer detection in the precocious group, within 2 months after primary cancer detection in the synchronous group, and 2 months or later after primary cancer detection in the metachronous group. Results: Of 471 patients with brain metastases, 93 (20%) were included in the precocious group, 76 (16%) in the synchronous group, and 302 (64%) in the metachronous group. The precocious group tended to be symptomatic, show a low Karnofsky Performance Status, and have a large single tumor, infrequent extracranial metastases, and frequent tumor resection compared with the other 2 groups. There were no differences in overall survival from the detection of brain metastases among the 3 groups in univariate and multivariate analyses. Of 471 cases, 97 (21%) underwent surgeries. Among this surgical cohort, overall survival from surgery was significantly shorter in the precocious group than in the metachronous group (P = 0.039). After adjustment for age, sex, tumor size, primary cancer, and the Graded Prognostic Assessment score, the hazard ratio for metachronous metastases was 0.52 (confidence interval, 0.29–0.95; P = 0.035). Conclusions: The timing of brain metastasis diagnosis is not a modifiable factor but affects patient demographics and treatment strategies. In particular, the precocious group is a unique subset of brain metastases that require special consideration during clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1-e9
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May


  • Brain metastasis
  • Metachronous
  • Precocious
  • Surgery
  • Synchronous


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