Gamma knife radiosurgery in the treatment of Cushing disease: long-term results

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Object. The authors sought to analyze the long-term outcome of patients with Cushing disease who underwent gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) as either an adjuvant or primary treatment.

Methods. Twenty-five patients with Cushing disease were treated by GKS and followed for more than 2.5 years (mean 5.3 years).

The overall results showed a complete response rate of 30%, a response rate of 85%, and a tumor control rate of 100%. Tumor size and radiation dose were the most important factors related to the treatment response. The complete response rate for microadenomas and small adenomas was significantly higher than that for macroadenomas. An 83.2% complete response rate was obtained using a maximum dose of more than 55 Gy and/or a margin dose of more than 40 Gy. Serum adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol levels were normalized in 35% of patients, decreased significantly in 60%, and decreased in 85%. Fifty-one of 85 characteristic signs and symptoms of Cushing disease improved without any side effects. The overall outcome was excellent in seven cases, good in six, fair in four, and poor in four cases; one patient died. The initial treatment was GKS in four patients, two of whom had a complete response and two of whom had a partial response. Hormone levels returned to normal in the patients in whom there was a complete response. The results in the six patients in whom Nelson syndrome was present were less favorable; the response rate was only 33%, although the control rate was 100%. Hormone levels decreased in two patients.

Conclusions. Gamma knife radiosurgery is safe and effective for the treatment of Cushing disease as an adjuvant or initial therapy when selective and accurate dose planning is performed.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Tatsuya Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Gamma Knife Center, Komaki City Hospital, 1–20 Jobushi, Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture, 485–8520 Japan. email: ctkoby@mis.ne.jp.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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