The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for treating cavernous sinus dural arteriovenous fistulas (CSDAVFs).
Of the 4123 GKSs performed between May 1992 and March 2009, 890 procedures were undertaken to treat vascular lesions. In 24 cases, the vascular lesion that was treated was a dural arteriovenous fistula, and in 6 of these cases, the lesion involved the cavernous sinus. One of these 6 cases was lost to follow-up, leaving the other 5 cases (4 women and 1 man) to comprise the subjects of this study. All 5 patients had more than 1 ocular symptom, such as ptosis, chemosis, proptosis, and extraocular movement palsy. In all patients, CSDAVF was confirmed by conventional angiography. Three patients were treated by GKS alone and 2 patients were treated by GKS combined with transarterial embolization. The median follow-up period after GKS in these 5 cases was 30 months (range 9–59 months).
All patients experienced clinical improvement, and their improvement in ocular symptoms was noticed at a mean of 17.6 weeks after GKS (range 4–24 weeks). Two patients received embolization prior to GKS but did not display improvement in ocular symptoms. An average of 20 weeks (range 12–24 weeks) was needed for complete improvement in clinical symptoms. There were no treatment-related complications during the follow-up period.
Gamma Knife surgery should be considered as a primary, combined, or additional treatment option for CSDAVF in selected cases, such as when the lesion is a low-flow shunt without cortical venous drainage. For those selected cases, GKS alone may suffice as the primary treatment method when combined with close monitoring of ocular symptoms and intraocular pressure.
Address correspondence to: Jong Hee Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea. email: email@example.com.
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