In Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), CT angiography (CTA), MRI, and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) are generally used to define the nidus. Although the AVM angioarchitecture can be visualized with superior resolution using rotational angiography (RA), the efficacy of integrating RA into the GKS treatment planning process has not been elucidated.
Using data collected from 25 consecutive patients with AVMs who were treated with GKS at the authors’ institution, two neurosurgeons independently created treatment plans for each patient before and after RA integration. For all patients, MR angiography, contrasted T1 imaging, CTA, DSA, and RA were performed before treatment. The prescription isodose volume before (PIVB) and after (PIVA) RA integration was measured. For reference purposes, a reference target volume (RTV) for each nidus was determined by two other physicians independent of the planning surgeons, and the RTV covered by the PIV (RTVPIV) was established. The undertreated volume ratio (UVR), overtreated volume ratio (OVR), and Paddick’s conformal index (CI), which were calculated as RTVPIV/RTV, RTVPIV/PIV, and (RTVPIV)2/(RTV × PIV), respectively, were measured by each neurosurgeon before and after RA integration, and the surgeons’ values at each point were averaged. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare the values obtained before and after RA integration. The percentage change from before to after RA integration was calculated for the average UVR (%ΔUVRave), OVR (%ΔOVRave), and CI (%ΔCIave) in each patient, as ([value after RA integration]/[value before RA integration] − 1) × 100. The relationships between prior histories and these percentage change values were examined using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.
The average values obtained by the two surgeons for the median UVR, OVR, and CI were 0.854, 0.445, and 0.367 before RA integration and 0.882, 0.478, and 0.463 after RA integration, respectively. All variables significantly improved after compared with before RA integration (UVR, p = 0.009; OVR, p < 0.001; CI, p < 0.001). Prior hemorrhage was significantly associated with larger %ΔOVRave (median 20.8% vs 7.2%; p = 0.023) and %ΔCIave (median 33.9% vs 13.8%; p = 0.014), but not %ΔUVRave (median 4.7% vs 4.0%; p = 0.449).
Integrating RA into GKS treatment planning may permit better dose planning owing to clearer visualization of the nidus and, as such, may reduce undertreatment and waste irradiation. Further studies examining whether the observed RA-related improvement in dose planning also improves the radiosurgical outcome are needed.