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Tentorial meningioma


Neurosurgery Service, Alicante University General Hospital, Alicante Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (ISABIAL - FISABIO Foundation), Alicante, Spain.


Tentorial meningiomas have been discussed in many articles devoted to posterior fossa meningiomas.

Cushing and Eisenhardt (1938) described 15 cases, Campbell and Whitfield (1948) five cases, Russell and Bucy (1953) reviewed 46 cases from the literature and described two of their own, Castellano and Ruggiero (1953) presented 21 cases of tentorial meningioma, Markham, Fagcr, Horrax, and Poppen (1955) described seven cases, and Tristan and Hodes (1958) eight cases.

Although these tumours are notorious for their ability to escape recognition clinically, a fact noted by many of the authors above 1).


Meningioma of the tentorium represent about 5% of all intracranial meningiomas reported in the literature 2)

Approximately 70% - 80% of cases in women 3).


Tentorial meningiomas are a broad and consistent category of tumors but their definition is still unclear and their classification uncertain.

Since the tentorium has a large intracranial area, tumours originating from it may vary widely in the actual location of their mass. Supratentorial, infratentorial, incisural, and posterolateral arc terms that will be used to suggest the principal location of each tumour.

Incisural tentorial meningioma.

Falcotentorial meningioma.

Lateral tentorial meningioma.

Tentorial notch meningioma

Torcular meningioma.

The classification system for tentorial meningiomas proposed by Gazi Yasargil is the most accurate and emphasizes the surgical anatomy.

1. T1–T2 (medial “incisural” meningioma)

2. T3–T8 (falcotentorial meningioma)

3. T4 (paramedian “intermediate” meningioma)

4. T5 (peritorcular “torcular” meningioma)

5. T6–T7 (lateral tentorial meningioma)

T1-T3 the lesions on the inner ring or lesions of the incisura - anterior, lateral and posterior.

T4 and T8 are intermediate ring lesions with T8 tumors involving the falcotentorial junction.

T5-T7 are lesions on the posterior ring, involving the torcular, transverse sinus, and transverse-sigmoid junction respectively 4).

Clinical features

Signs and symptoms of cranial hypertension are the most common findings, followed by cerebellar ataxia, psychiatric disturbances and cranial nerve dysfunction 5).

In 1962 Barrows and Harter reviewed a large series of cases of tentorial meningiomas. They divided the patients into three groups, of which the third presented with “ataxic, slow stiff gait”, slow mentation and urinary incontinence. The ventricles were dilated in all patients 6).


In all patients with tentorial meningiomas, a contrast-enhanced CT scan and a magnetic resonance (MRI) of the brain should be ordered. The CT scan in axial and coronal views should be carefully evaluated to see the relations of the lesion with the falx and tentorium. The CT images still provide superior bone detail and are invaluable where tumors invade bones 7).


The MRI is more precise on revealing information about tumor localization, extension and its relations. Special attention should be given to where the tumor expands mostly into the two compartments. In fact with, MR and MR angiography (MRA) the size, dominance and collateralization of the transverse sinuses can be recognized. This factor is essential for this kind of approach. We should obtain all possible possible about the transverse sinus status. If infiltration is present, it should be quantified 8).

Cerebral angiography

Is sometimes necessary to obtain additional information about the arterial and venous system. Using the four-vessels angiography we are able to delineate the vascularity of the lesion and its relationship to the various arteries and veins in this area. The circulation supplying the tumor is carefully analyzed in order to plan both endovascular and surgical procedures. The vein of Galen, the internal cerebral veins and the basal vein of Rosenthal should be studied. As well as the superficial venous system, with the patency of the straight sinus, and the collateralization and enlargement of the normally present sinus should also be analyzed.

If the preoperative embolization is effective the surgical procedure become easier 9).

For Cerebral CT venography see Cerebral CT venography in surgical planning for a tentorial meningioma 10).

Differential diagnosis

A 72-year-old male presented with a primary hemangioblastoma of the posterior fossa with unusual dural attachment and meningeal arterial blood supply from the external carotid artery and marginal tentorial artery. Preoperative embolization facilitated complete resection of the tumor with no resultant neurological deficit. Hemangioblastoma must be included in the differential diagnosis of tumors with dural involvement. Preoperative embolization is very useful in such tumors 11).


From a surgical perspective, tentorial fold (TF) meningiomas (TFM) are a unique entity of tumors. They involve the supra- and infratentorial space and often are in close contact to the cavernous sinus, cranial nerves, and the mesencephalon. Complete resection is challenging and can be hazardous.



Tumors of tentorial fold often reach the basal part of the midbrain or extend into the cavernous sinus, and the approach chosen should eschew damage to vulnerable structures like the parahippocampus and uncus hippocampi. To tackle these demanding problems, a number of different surgical strategies in reference to tumor volume and tumor extension have been developed and particular attention has been paid to meningiomas of the anterior inner tectorial ring.

The standard subtemporal approach and its variations are most frequently requested for sphenoidal wing meningiomas, followed by Yasargil's T1- and T2-type tentorial meningiomas arising from the inner ring of the tentorium 12).

Tentorial meningiomas near the middle third of the medial tentorial edge with supratentorial extension are usually removed via the subtemporal approach. This approach, however, may not be practical, especially for huge tumors extending to the posterior subtemporal space.

see Surgical anatomy and approaches 13)


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A U-shaped or linear incision is made. The preference of the kind of the incision is dictated by the size of the tumor.


The size of the craniotomy is also dictated by the size of the tumor.

Burr holes are placed above and below the transverse sinus and in a majority of the times, the bone over the sinus is drilled away. For the superior and inferior components of the craniotomy the craniotome can be perfectly used after the dura is dissected from the bone.

After the craniotomy, the dura of the occipital lobe and the suboccipital compartment are exposed. The transverse sinus is placed between both compartments. The transverse sinus and its junction with the torcular Herophilli are exposed.

Surgical removal

Passacantilli et al. report the experience with a thulium laser during the surgical removal of a tentorial meningioma.

The thulium laser proved to be a useful tool during coagulation, shrinking, and resection of the basal implant of the tumor. Use of the laser made the surgical procedure faster and easier, and no intraoperative bleeding was noted. No side effects were observed 14).


They tend to enclose, displace, or compress the adjacent cranial nerves and vascular structures. Due to their vicinity to crucial neural and vascular structures, they are a surgical challenge.

The first historic attempts at tentorial meningioma removal resulted in high rates of mortality and morbidity. In series published up to 1990, the mortality rate ranged from 14% to 44% 15) 16) 17) 18).

Following the development of diagnostic imaging and neurosurgical techniques, mortality rates fell, reaching rates of around 10% in most series published over the last two decades 19) 20).

Nonetheless, postoperative morbidity has continued to range from 18.9% to 77% 21) 22) 23).

Meticulously preserving venous sinuses is important since the risk of venous infarction cannot be predicted even with radiological good venous collaterization and apparent venous sinus blockade by tumor. Laterally situated tumors carry a better prognosis when compared to the medially situated ones. Leaving a small residual tumor in an effort to preserve important neurovascular structures does not obviate the expectation of a good long-term prognosis with minimal morbidity and low recurrence rates 24).

Case series

In 27 consecutive patients who underwent tumor resection through the Poppen approach for tentorial meningioma or pineal region meningiomas, the following morphologic parameters were assessed on a preoperative MRI: 1) tentorial angle; 2) tentorial length; 3) the shortest distance from the confluence of sinus to the tumor. All these parameters, together with tumor size, texture, and resection extent, were correlated with occipital lobe damage by using the ANOVA test, chi-square test, or Fisher's exact test.

The mean value was 55.3±5.6° (range 45-66°) for the tentorial angle, which was significantly associated with the occipital lobe damage grades (p=0.008), but this was not the case for the tentorial length (p=0.802) and the shortest distance from the confluence of sinus to the tumor (p=0.695). Interestingly, age was also strongly associated with occipital lobe damage risk (p=0.020). The patients in the subgroup with no occipital damage (Grade 4) were the youngest (aged 47.3 years), compared with other grades, with age of 58.0 years for Grade 1, 54.3 years for Grade 2, and 58.6 years for Grade 3. These two parameters were also significant after multivariate analysis. No correlation was observed between either tumor nature or the extent of resection and damage grades.

The risk of occipital lobe damage increases in the presence of a steep tentorial angle during the Poppen approach for tentorial or pineal area tumors. Awareness of such anatomical features preoperatively is important for minimizing operative complications 25).


Between 2008 and 2012, five patients with symptomatic tentorial meningiomas (median diameter, 5.2 cm; range, 4.0-5.7 cm) near the middle third of the medial tentorial edge with supratentorial extension underwent TZ-AITG, consisting of zygomatic osteotomy, low-positioned craniotomy, and resection of the inferior temporal gyrus around 4 cm from the tip.

Tumors were completely resected in all patients. Postoperatively, none had a newly developed neurological morbidity, and none died. Of three patients with preoperative hemianopia, two showed improvement and one remained stationary. One patient with preoperative hemiparesis recovered completely. All patients returned to their normal activities during the follow-up period. Surgical morbidities included epidural hematoma and chronic subdural hematoma in one patient each, with both requiring evacuation.

TZ-AITG may be a good alternative to the subtemporal approach for large tentorial meningiomas near the middle third of the medial tentorial edge. TZ-AITG provides access to the lesions and visualization of the middle fossa, facilitating early feeder control while minimizing brain retraction, thus reducing potential injury to the vein of Labbé. TZ-AITG is also safe and feasible in minimizing neurological compromise 26).

The data of clinical symptom, imaging examination, surgical approaches as well as the influence factors of gross total resection (GTR) of 43 TMs cases were analyzed retrospectively.

Imaging examinations of computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance image (MRI) were performed in all 43 cases. The angiographies such as computer tomography angiography (CTA), digital subtraction angiography (DSA), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and magnetic resonance venography (MRV) were obtained in part of these cases. The TMs can be classified into 2 types as superior/inferior to the tentorium, and subtypes as medial/lateral, anterior/middle/posterior according its location and the origination of the tumor. Six different surgical approaches were utilized in the study mainly depending on the tumor location and the surgeon's preference. CT scan was performed in all patients 6h after the operation. Follow-up MRI with contrast was also obtained 3 months later. Simpson's grade of excision was applied. GTR was defined as Simpson grade I and II, and was acquired in 34 cases, in which Simpson grade I resection was accomplished in 15 cases, and subtotal resection (STR) was defined as more than 90% of the tumor volume was removed and was acquired in 7 cases; histopathology revealed 34 benign (grade I), 8 atypical (grade II), and 1 malignant (grade III) cases.

Elaborate imaging examination, microsurgical skills as well as the choices of approaches and management of the sinus involved are the main prognostic factors of the TMs 27).


Thirty-nine patients with meningiomas of the tentorium underwent stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using various Gamma Knife technologies between 1988 and 2010. The most common presenting symptoms were headache, dizziness or disequilibrium, and ataxia.

The median tumor volume was 4.6 cm3 (range 0.5-36.6 cm3) and the median radiation dose to the tumor margin was 14 Gy (range 8.9-18 Gy). The median follow-up period was 41 months (range 6-183 months). At the last imaging follow-up, tumor volumes decreased in 22 patients (57 %), remained stable in 13 patients (33 %), and increased in 4 patients (10 %). The progression free survival after SRS was 97 % at 1 year, and 92 % at 5 years. At the last clinical follow-up, 35 patients (90 %) showed no change in symptoms, 1 patient (2 %) showed improvement of their neurologic symptom, and 3 patients (8 %) demonstrated worsening symptoms. The rate of symptom worsening after SRS was 5 % at 1 year, and 10 % at 5 years. Asymptomatic peritumoral edema after SRS occurred in 2 patients (5 %). Symptomatic adverse radiation effect developed in 2 patients (5 %). SRS for tentorial meningiomas provided long-term effective tumor control and a low risk of radiation related complications 28).


A retrospective analysis on 21 consecutive patients (female/male ratio 17/4) with meningiomas originating from the TF, who underwent surgery between 1992 and 2005 in our clinic, was performed. The follow-up period ranged from 6 to 93 months. The cases were classified according to tumor extension in three different types: type I, TF meningiomas with compression of the brain stem; type II, with extension into the anterior portion of middle fossa; and type III, a combination of type I and II. Depending on tumor location, surgical approaches consisted of pterional (nine cases), subtemporal (nine cases), or combined subtemporal-pterional craniotomies (three cases). We defined transient and persistent operative complications in relation to Simpson grade and TF classification.

Tumor size ranged from 1 to 6 cm in diameter, with a median at 2.5 cm. The presenting symptoms of the patients were anisocoria (six cases), diplopia (six cases), ptosis (five cases), hemianopia (four cases), and ataxia (two cases). Extent of tumor resection was Simpson grade II in 19 patients, grade III in one patient, and grade IV in one patient. There was no operative mortality (first 30 days after surgery). The rate of postoperative transient new neurological deficits was found at 9.5%, the rate of permanent at 33%. The neurological deficits at admission recovered in two patients.

In the majority of patients with TF meningiomas, total resection can be achieved through a pterional, subtemporal, or combined approaches but at a substantial toll in terms of permanent morbidity. Radiotherapy after volume reductive surgery in TFM type II and III and decompression of eloquent anatomical structures with low tolerance of radiation should be considered 29).

From 1998 to 2005, 30 patients (22 female and 8 male) with tentorial meningiomas were operated. Thirteen patients had tumor restricted to the infratentorial space; 12, to the supratentorial space; and in 5 cases, the tumor involved both compartments. Follow-up ranged from 1 to 8 years. A total of 35 surgical procedures were performed in 30 patients, where 26 procedures were performed through a single approach (2, ITSC; 10, RS; 5, SOIH; 5, ST; and 4, TT); and 9, through combined approaches (7, ITSC/ SOIH; and 2, RS/ST).

Simpson I resection was achieved in 17 patients. Tumors involving both compartments, involving the petrous sinus, and attached to the torcula limited complete resection. Twenty-two out of 30 patients were able to return to their regular life with no or minimal neurological sequelae. Most frequent complications in our series were shunt dependence, CSF fistulae, diffuse brain injury and visual field defects. Overall, our series revealed 3% mortality and 23% morbidity.

Tentorial meningiomas are associated with significant morbidity related to the nervous and vascular structures surrounding the tumor. Partial tumor removal may be necessary in some cases 30).


Kaki et al. report the experience and long-term results of twenty patients with tentorial meningiomas who underwent surgical removal between 1987 and 1996. Computed tomography, angiography and magnetic resonance imaging were used as diagnostic tools for planning the surgical procedure. The tumor site was posterolateral in 6 cases (30%), posteromedial in 4 cases (20%), in the tentorium itself in 4 cases (20%), anterolateral in 3 cases (15%), at the apex of tentorial incisura in 2 cases (10%) and at the free border of the tentorial notch in 1 case (5%). Neuroradiologically, 70% of the meningiomas ranged from 1 to 3 cm. Lateral and medial tumors with solely or mainly supratentorial development were approached from above. The approach from below was selected for meningiomas with subtentorial involvement only. In meningiomas with both supra and subtentorial growth, a supratentorial bone flap was combined with a suboccipital craniectomy using a retromastoid incision. Radical surgical removal (Simpson's grade I and II) was achieved in 80% of the cases. There was no mortality. The follow-up averaged 4 years and revealed that 65% of patients were able to return to their premorbid activity. Complications were mainly postoperative brain oedema, functional deficits, seizures and psychological disorders. Recurrence rate amounted at 6.25% in the group where the tumors were totally removed (16 cases). From this retrospective study, the statistically significant prediction of a good outcome was: duration of symptoms from onset to the operation inferior or equal to 1 year (p < 0.01), good preoperative neurological conditions (Karnofsky scale from 80 to 100) (p < 0.05) and tumor size inferior or equal to 3 cm (p < 0.002) 31).


Olivecrona series included 21 tentorial meningiomas representing 2.5% of all of their intracranial meningiomas. He found in his series 52% of these lesions above the tentorium and 48% below. The transverse sinus was invaded in 52%. In a such way the first attempt to classify the tentorial meningioma was made by him 32).


In the Cushing and Eisenhard's series of 295 intracranal meningiomas, 11 tumors (3.7%) were attached to the tentorium 33).

Case reports


A rare case of hemifacial spasm caused by an ipsilateral tentorial meningioma is described. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a huge tumor in the right cerebellar hemisphere, distant to the cerebello-pontine cistern. The facial-vestibulocochlear nerve complex was stretched by the shift of the brainstem and the right cerebello-pontine cistern was effaced. After removing the tumor, the hemifacial spasm resolved completely. We review our case with the pertinent literature regarding the etiological mechanism 34).

Perrini et al. describe a patient with a large paramedian tentorial meningioma associated with acquired Chiari malformation who presented with trigeminal neuralgia TN. Trigeminal pain resolved after gross total tumour resection and postoperative magnetic resonance images disclosed a minimal residual tumour in the torcular region as well as ascent of cerebellar tonsils. In this article, we investigate the physiopathological hypotheses for this unusual association with emphasis on the role of tonsillar prolapse as neuropathological basis of neuropathic pain in this patient 35).


Guan et al. report a spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea in a patient with tectorial meningioma 36).


Tentorial meningioma on follow-up presenting with sudden deterioration due to intra- and peritumoral hemorrhage 37).


A 45-year-old woman suffering from hemifacial spasm, who dramatically improved after surgical removal of a tentorial paramedic meningioma 38).

Concomitant ectatic posterior communicating artery and tentorial meningioma as a source of oculomotor palsy: case report 39).


Santoro et al. describe the case of patient who underwent subtotal resection of a chromophobe pituitary adenoma at the age of 18 years, who was successively treated by conventional fractionated radiotherapy with gamma rays emitted by a source of 60Co until a total dose of 41 Gy. Over the next 30 years the patient experienced all the known late effects of radiation, including panhypopituitarism, cranial-nerve deficits (II, III and VI), massive radiation necrosis involving the left cerebral hemisphere and causing right hemiparesis and aphasia and, ultimately, an atypical tentorial meningioma with early recurrence after total resection 40).

Secondary syringomyelia disappearing after removal of tectorial meningioma 41).


A 35-year-old right-handed woman presented with a generalized convulsion. Magnetic resonance imaging scans revealed a left medial tentorial meningioma with supratentorial extension at the dominant hemisphere. The main venous drainage route from the ipsilateral temporal lobe was a sphenopetrosal vein.

An operation was performed with the patient in a sitting position, and the tumor was resected totally via the paramedian supracerebellar transtentorial approach without perioperative complications.

The paramedian supracerebellar transtentorial approach is useful for supratentorially located medial tentorial meningiomas without retraction of the temporal lobe and without damage to the vein of Labbé or the sphenopetrosal vein 42).


A 33-year-old male presented with involuntary and inappropriate laughter. Neuroimaging revealed a meningioma ventrolateral to the pons and midbrain, attached to the medial middle tentorium on the left side. The pathological laughter ceased immediately after subtotal removal of the tumor. Pathological laughter may be an early focal sign of a mass compressing ventrolateral brainstem 43).

A 73-year-old female case with tentorial meningioma suffering from pure word deafness is reported. The patient initially presented with hydrocephalus, and was treated with a ventriculo-peritoneal(V-P) shunt. A year after the V-P shunt, she suffered from a symptom of deafness. On admission, her repetition and auditory comprehension were severely impaired, while reading and visual comprehension were almost normal. Auditory brain stem response(ABR) revealed normal latency between wave I and V, while wave VI and VII was disappeared. Middle latency response(MLR) showed no wave peak. On MRI, tentorial meningioma compressed bilateral medial geniculate bodies, but not auditory radiation or temporal lobe. 99mTc-HMPAO single photon emission computed tomography(SPECT) showed hypoperfusion in the left temporal lobe, considered as a diaschisis resulting from the isolation of left temporal lobe from auditory input via bilateral medial geniculate bodies 44).


A 62-year-old woman was evaluated for tinnitis and headache. Magnetic resonance imaging and angiography revealed the coexistence of a tentorial tumor encroaching the junction of the right transverse-sigmoid sinuses, and dural arteriovenous fistulous malformation (AVFM) of the right transverse sinus. AVFM was not manipulated at all during the surgery. The pathology was fibroblastic meningioma. Postoperatively, the dural AVFM completely disappeared on follow-up angiography. The fistulas were occluded also after surgery, even though there was no manipulation of the AVFM. It is suggested that the right dominant transverse-sigmoid sinuses are partially occluded by tentorial meningioma, developing the dural arteriovenous fistula of the right transverse sinus. An acquired origin of the dural AVFM was suggested in this case 45).


Resolution of chronic cluster headache after resection of a tentorial meningioma: case report 46).


A 28-year-old male was admitted to our hospital with the complaints of numbness of the left upper limb and gait disturbance. Neurological examination disclosed slight left dysmetria, truncal ataxia and sensory disturbance at the dermatome of C8 and Th1. CT and MRI scans showed a large mass lesion in the left posterior fossa, ventricular dilatation, cavum septi pellucidi and cavum Vergae, empty sella, cervical syringomyelia and left tonsilar herniation. The tumor which attached to cerebellar tentorium was totally removed and a histological diagnosis of meningothelial meningioma was made. Postoperative MRI scan demonstrated a disappearing of syringomyelia with the improved tonsillar herniation. Association of syringomyelia with brain tumor is relatively rare, so its pathogenesis was discussed 47).

A patient who had chronic cluster headache for more than 20 years. The headache immediately resolved upon resection of a tentorial meningioma. Prior reports of cluster headache as a manifestation of structural disease are briefly reviewed. In the patient described, the pain was referred from the right tentorium cerebelli to the right side of the face, in accordance with reported studies on the subjective localization of pain referred from posterior fossa structures. The accompanying abnormalities of autonomic function may have been mediated by central autonomic reflexes that are also involved in the pathogenesis of idiopathic cluster headache 48).

Embolization with temporary balloon occlusion of the internal carotid artery and in vivo proton spectroscopy improves radical removal of petrous-tensorial meningioma 49).

A case is presented of painful tic convulsif caused by a posterior fossa meningioma, with right trigeminal neuralgia and ipsilateral hemifacial spasm. Magnetic resonance images showed an ectatic right vertebral artery as a signal-void area in the right cerebellopontine angle. At operation the tentorial meningioma, which did not compress either the fifth or the seventh cranial nerves directly, was totally removed via a suboccipital craniectomy. The patient had complete postoperative relief from the trigeminal neuralgia and her hemifacial spasm improved markedly with decreased frequency. From a pathophysiological standpoint, the painful tic convulsif in this case was probably produced by the tumor compressing and displacing the brainstem directly, with secondary neurovascular compression of the fifth and seventh nerves (the so-called “remote effect”) 50).

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Babbitz JD, Harsh GR 4th. Concomitant ectatic posterior communicating artery and tentorial meningioma as a source of oculomotor palsy: case report. Neurosurgery. 2005 Dec;57(6):E1316; discussion E1316. Review. PubMed PMID: 16331147.
Santoro A, Minniti G, Paolini S, Passacantilli E, Missori P, Frati A, Cantore GP. Atypical tentorial meningioma 30 years after radiotherapy for a pituitary adenoma. Neurol Sci. 2002 Mar;22(6):463-7. PubMed PMID: 11976979.
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Chung YG, Lee KC, Lee HK, Lee NJ. Tentorial meningioma encroaching the transverse sinuses and sigmoid sinus junction area associated with dural arteriovenous fistulous malformation: a case report. J Korean Med Sci. 1999 Aug;14(4):465-8. PubMed PMID: 10485631; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3054406.
Gupta VK. Resolution of chronic cluster headache after resection of a tentorial meningioma: case report. Neurosurgery. 1996 Apr;38(4):849-50. PubMed PMID: 8692412.
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Demaerel P, Van Hecke P, Van Oostende S, Wilms G, Plets C, Baert AL. Embolization with temporary balloon occlusion of the internal carotid artery and in vivo proton spectroscopy improves radical removal of petrous-tentorial meningioma. Neurosurgery. 1995 Nov;37(5):1026. PubMed PMID: 8559329.
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tentorial_meningioma.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/10 13:40 by administrador