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Hirotaka Hasegawa, Shunya Hanakita, Masahiro Shin, Mariko Kawashima, Taichi Kin, Wataru Takahashi, Yuichi Suzuki, Yuki Shinya, Hideaki Ono, Masaaki Shojima, Hirofumi Nakatomi and Nobuhito Saito

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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).

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Randy S. Bell, Chris J. Neal and Randall McCafferty

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José Pedro Lavrador, Shami Acharya, Anastasios Giamouriadis, Francesco Vergani, Keyoumars Ashkan and Ranjeev Bhangoo

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Seyed Amir Javadi and Mehdi Zeinalizadeh

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Rodolfo Maduri, Viviana Aureli, Vincent Dunet, Roy Thomas Daniel and Mahmoud Messerer

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Atsushi Okano and Hideki Ogiwara

OBJECTIVE

Shunt surgery is the most common treatment for hydrocephalus, but it is associated with several long-term complications. Endoscopic choroid plexus coagulation (CPC) and endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) are alternative surgeries that may avoid the need for shunt surgery. Although the short-term efficacy and safety of CPC have been reported in previous studies, long-term outcome, including not only avoiding shunt placement but also intellectual development, remains to be elucidated. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the long-term outcome of CPC.

METHODS

The study population comprised patients who had infantile hydrocephalus treated by endoscopic CPC before the age of 24 months and who were followed until at least 5 years of age. Retrospective review was performed using the medical charts. The authors assessed educational status and the full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) IV as the means to evaluate the intellectual development.

RESULTS

Fourteen patients with infantile hydrocephalus underwent CPC with or without ETV as a primary surgery. There were no intraoperative complications. In 7 patients (50%), hydrocephalus was successfully controlled without shunt placement. Six patients (43%) eventually required shunt placement. In one patient hydrocephalus was controlled by additional ETV. In the shunt-independent group, 4 patients went to age-appropriate school or achieved age-appropriate development according to intelligence quotient (IQ), 1 patient went to specialized school, and 2 patients had disabilities. In the shunt-dependent group, 4 patients went to an age-appropriate school or achieved age-appropriate development by IQ, 1 patient went to specialized school, and 1 patient had disabilities. The mean FSIQ score in 3 patients without shunts was 90 (range 89–91) and the mean FSIQ score in 4 patients with shunts was 80 (range 48–107). There was no significant difference in the rate of normal development between the shunt-independent group and the shunt-dependent group (p = 0.72).

CONCLUSIONS

The CPC with or without ETV can be a safe and effective treatment in children with infantile hydrocephalus. Long-term control of hydrocephalus and normal intellectual development can be achieved in successful cases. Further prospective studies should be required to elucidate appropriate indications.

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Hussein Fathalla, Ahmed Ashry and Ahmed El-Fiki

OBJECTIVE

Managing penetrating military brain injuries in a war zone setting is different than managing common civilian penetrating brain injuries. Triage, i.e., deciding on which patients to treat or not treat, and which to be flown back home, is essential to avoid wasting valuable limited resources. In this study the authors aim to identify reliable predictors of mortality and poor outcome to help develop a protocol for treating their patients in the battlefield. They also demonstrate all the lessons learned from their collective experience regarding some of the controversial management issues.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective review of 102 patients with penetrating military missile head injuries treated by the authors in various facilities in northern Sinai between 2011 and 2018. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, imaging characteristics, postoperative complications, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores were recorded for each patient. Several variables associated with mortality and poor outcome that were derived from the literature were analyzed, in addition to variables obtained by direct observation by the authors over time.

RESULTS

There were 50 patients (49%) with GOS score of 1 (death), 12 patients (11.8%) with GOS score of 2 (survivors in persistent vegetative state), and 40 survivors (39.2%) with varying degrees of disability on the last follow-up evaluation. The authors identified an anatomical danger zone that was found to predict mortality when traversed. Bilateral dilated fixed pupils and low Glasgow Coma Scale score on admission were also found to be independent predictors of mortality and poor outcome. Based on these findings, a protocol was developed for managing these patients in the war zone.

CONCLUSIONS

Managing military penetrating head injuries in the war zone is different than civilian gunshot head injuries encountered by most neurosurgeons in urban cities. The authors developed a simple protocol for managing military penetrating injuries in the war zone. They also describe important lessons learned from this experience.

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Dusan Urgosik and Roman Liscak

OBJECTIVE

Ablative procedures are still useful in the treatment of intractable pain despite the proliferation of neuromodulation techniques. In the paper the authors present the results of Gamma Knife thalamotomy (GKT) in various pain syndromes.

METHODS

Between 1996 and 2016, unilateral GKT was performed in 30 patients suffering from various severe pain syndromes in whom conservative treatment had failed. There were 20 women and 10 men in the study population, with a median age of 80 years (range 53–89 years). The pain syndromes consisted of 8 patients with classic treatment-resistant trigeminal neuralgia (TN), 6 with postherpetic TN, 5 with TN and constant pain, 1 with TN related to multiple sclerosis, 3 with trigeminal neuropathic pain, 4 with thalamic pain, 1 with phantom pain, 1 with causalgic pain, and 1 with facial pain. The median follow-up period was 24 months (range 12–180 months). Invasive procedures for pain release preceded GKT in 20 patients (microvascular decompression, glycerol rhizotomy, balloon microcompression, Gamma Knife irradiation of the trigeminal root, and radiofrequency thermolesion). The Leksell stereotactic frame, GammaPlan software, and T1- and T2-weighted sequences acquired at 1.5 T were used for localization of the targeted medial thalamus, namely the centromedian (CM) and parafascicularis (Pf) nucleus. The CM/Pf complex was localized 4–6 mm lateral to the wall of the third ventricle, 8 mm posterior to the midpoint, and 2–3 mm superior to the intercommissural line. GKT was performed using the Leksell Gamma Knife with an applied dose ranging from 145 to 150 Gy, with a single shot, 4-mm collimator. Pain relief after radiation treatment was evaluated. Decreased pain intensity to less than 50% of the previous level was considered successful.

RESULTS

Initial successful results were achieved in 13 (43.3%) of the patients, with complete pain relief in 1 of these patients. Relief was achieved after a median latency of 3 months (range 2–12 months). Pain recurred in 4 (31%) of 13 patients after a median latent interval of 24 months (range 22–30 months). No neurological deficits were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that GKT in patients suffering from severe pain syndromes is a relatively successful and safe method that can be used even in severely affected patients. The only risk of GT for the patients in this study was failure of treatment, as no clinical side effects were observed.

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Takashi Shuto, Atsuya Akabane, Masaaki Yamamoto, Toru Serizawa, Yoshinori Higuchi, Yasunori Sato, Jun Kawagishi, Kazuhiro Yamanaka, Hidefumi Jokura, Shoji Yomo, Osamu Nagano and Hidefumi Aoyama

OBJECTIVE

Previous Japanese Leksell Gamma Knife Society studies (JLGK0901) demonstrated the noninferiority of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone as the initial treatment for patients with 5–10 brain metastases (BMs) compared with those with 2–4 BMs in terms of overall survival and most secondary endpoints. The authors studied the aforementioned treatment outcomes in a subset of patients with BMs from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

METHODS

Patients with initially diagnosed BMs treated with SRS alone were enrolled in this prospective observational study. Major inclusion criteria were the existence of up to 10 tumors with a maximum diameter of less than 3 cm each, a cumulative tumor volume of less than 15 cm3, and no leptomeningeal dissemination in patients with a Karnofsky Performance Scale score of 70% or better.

RESULTS

Among 1194 eligible patients, 784 with NSCLC were categorized into 3 groups: group A (1 tumor, n = 299), group B (2–4 tumors, n = 342), and group C (5–10 tumors, n = 143). The median survival times were 13.9 months in group A, 12.3 months in group B, and 12.8 months in group C. The survival curves of groups B and C were very similar (hazard ratio [HR] 1.037; 95% CI 0.842–1.277; p < 0.0001, noninferiority test). The crude and cumulative incidence rates of neurological death, deterioration of neurological function, newly appearing lesions, and leptomeningeal dissemination did not differ significantly between groups B and C. SRS-induced complications occurred in 145 (12.1%) patients during the median post-SRS period of 9.3 months (IQR 4.1–17.4 months), including 46, 54, 29, 11, and 5 patients with a Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0 grade 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 complication, respectively. The cumulative incidence rates of adverse effects in groups A, B, and C 60 months after SRS were 13.5%, 10.0%, and 12.6%, respectively (group B vs C: HR 1.344; 95% CI 0.768–2.352; p = 0.299). The 60-month post-SRS rates of neurocognitive function preservation were 85.7% or higher, and no significant differences among the 3 groups were found.

CONCLUSIONS

In this subset analysis of patients with NSCLC, the noninferiority of SRS alone for the treatment of 5–10 versus 2–4 BMs was confirmed again in terms of overall survival and secondary endpoints. In particular, the incidence of neither post-SRS complications nor neurocognitive function preservation differed significantly between groups B and C. These findings further strengthen the already-reported noninferiority hypothesis of SRS alone for the treatment of patients with 5–10 BMs.