Advanced frailty assessment tool predicts successful awake craniotomy in a 92-year-old patient: A case report

Kyril L. Cole, Samantha Varela, Kavelin Rumalla, Syed Faraz Kazim, Ryan W. Rebbe, Michael Carvajal, Karen S. SantaCruz, Rohini McKee, Cheryl Willman, Meic H. Schmidt, Christian A. Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The awake craniotomy (AC) procedure allows for safe and maximal resection of brain tumors from highly eloquent regions. However, geriatric patients are often viewed as poor candidates for AC due to age and medical comorbidities. Frailty assessments gauge physiological reserve for surgery and are valuable tools for preoperative decision-making. Here, we present a novel case illustrating how frailty scoring enabled an elderly but otherwise healthy female to undergo successful AC for tumor resection. Case Description: A 92-year-old right-handed female with history of hypertension and basal cell skin cancer presented with a 1-month history of progressive aphasia and was found to have a ring-enhancing left frontoparietal mass abutting the rolandic cortex concerning for malignant neoplasm. Frailty scoring with the recalibrated risk analysis index (RAI-C) tool revealed a score of 30 (of 81) indicating low surgical risk. The patient and family were counseled appropriately that, despite advanced chronological age, a low frailty score predicts favorable surgical outcomes. The patient underwent left-sided AC for resection of tumor and experienced immediate improvement of speech intraoperatively. After surgery, the patient was neurologically intact and had an unremarkable postoperative course with significant improvements from preoperatively baseline at follow-up. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the oldest patient to undergo successful AC for brain tumor resection. Nonfrail patients over 90 years of age with the proper indications may tolerate cranial surgery. Frailty scoring is a powerful tool for preoperative risk assessment in the geriatric neurosurgery population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5422022
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2022


  • Awake craniotomy
  • Frailty
  • Malignant tumor
  • Risk analysis index
  • Tumor resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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