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John W. Hopewell, Ian Paddick, Bleddyn Jones, and Thomas Klinge

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Anne-Marie Langlois, Christian Iorio-Morin, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, L. Dade Lunsford, Nasser Mohammed, Jason P. Sheehan, Roman Liščák, Dušan Urgošík, Douglas Kondziolka, Cheng-chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Ahmet F. Atik, and David Mathieu

OBJECTIVE

Cranial nerve (CN) schwannomas are intracranial tumors that are commonly managed by stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). There is a large body of literature supporting the use of SRS for vestibular schwannomas. Schwannomas of the oculomotor nerves (CNs III, IV, and VI) are rare skull base tumors, occurring close to the brainstem and often involving the cavernous sinus. Resection can cause significant morbidity, including loss of nerve function. As for other schwannomas, SRS can be used to manage these tumors, but only a handful of cases have been published so far, often among reports of other uncommon schwannoma locations.

METHODS

The goal of this study was to collect retrospective multicenter data on tumor control, clinical evolution, and morbidity after SRS. This study was performed through the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation. Patients managed with single-session SRS for an oculomotor cranial nerve schwannoma (CN III, IV, or VI) were included. The diagnosis was based on diplopia or ptosis as the main presenting symptom and anatomical location on the trajectory of the presumed cranial nerve of origin, or prior resection confirming diagnosis. Demographic, SRS dose planning, clinical, and imaging data were collected from chart review of the treated patients. Chi-square and Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Seven institutions submitted data for a total of 25 patients. The median follow-up time was 41 months. The median age at the time of treatment was 52 years. There were 11 CN III schwannomas, 11 CN IV schwannomas, and 3 CN VI schwannomas. The median target volume was 0.74 cm3, and the median marginal dose delivered was 12.5 Gy. After SRS, only 2 patients (including the only patient with neurofibromatosis type 2) had continued tumor growth. Crude local control was 92% (23/25), and the 10-year actuarial control was 86%. Diplopia improved in the majority of patients (11/21), and only 3 had worsening following SRS, 2 of whom also had worsened ptosis, both in the context of tumor progression.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS for schwannomas of the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nerves is effective and provides tumor control rates similar to those for other cranial nerve schwannomas. SRS allows improvement of diplopia in the majority of patients. SRS should therefore be considered as a first-line treatment option for oculomotor nerve schwannomas.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Cheng-Chia Lee, Kathryn N. Kearns, I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Christopher P. Cifarelli, David E. Arsanious, Roman Liscak, Jaromir Hanuska, Brian J. Williams, Mehran B. Yusuf, Shiao Y. Woo, Natasha Ironside, Rebecca M. Burke, Ronald E. Warnick, Daniel M. Trifiletti, David Mathieu, Monica Mureb, Carolina Benjamin, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb E. Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Kevin M. Cockroft, Scott Simon, Heath B. Mackley, Samer G. Zammar, Neel T. Patel, Varun Padmanaban, Nathan Beatson, Anissa Saylany, John Y. K. Lee, Jason P. Sheehan, and on behalf of the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation

OBJECTIVE

Investigations of the combined effects of neoadjuvant Onyx embolization and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have not accounted for initial angioarchitectural features prior to neuroendovascular intervention. The aim of this retrospective, multicenter matched cohort study is to compare the outcomes of SRS with versus without upfront Onyx embolization for AVMs using de novo characteristics of the preembolized nidus.

METHODS

The International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM databases from 1987 to 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were categorized based on AVM treatment approach into Onyx embolization (OE) and SRS (OE+SRS) or SRS alone (SRS-only) cohorts and then propensity score matched in a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome was AVM obliteration. Secondary outcomes were post-SRS hemorrhage, all-cause mortality, radiological and symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), and cyst formation. Comparisons were analyzed using crude rates and cumulative probabilities adjusted for competing risk of death.

RESULTS

The matched OE+SRS and SRS-only cohorts each comprised 53 patients. Crude rates (37.7% vs 47.2% for the OE+SRS vs SRS-only cohorts, respectively; OR 0.679, p = 0.327) and cumulative probabilities at 3, 4, 5, and 6 years (33.7%, 44.1%, 57.5%, and 65.7% for the OE+SRS cohort vs 34.8%, 45.5%, 59.0%, and 67.1% for the SRS-only cohort, respectively; subhazard ratio 0.961, p = 0.896) of AVM obliteration were similar between the matched cohorts. The secondary outcomes of the matched cohorts were also similar. Asymptomatic and symptomatic embolization-related complication rates in the matched OE+SRS cohort were 18.9% and 9.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Pre-SRS AVM embolization with Onyx does not appear to negatively influence outcomes after SRS. These analyses, based on de novo nidal characteristics, thereby refute previous studies that found detrimental effects of Onyx embolization on SRS-induced AVM obliteration. However, given the risks incurred by nidal embolization using Onyx, this neoadjuvant intervention should be used judiciously in multimodal treatment strategies involving SRS for appropriately selected large-volume or angioarchitecturally high-risk AVMs.

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Douglas Kondziolka and Linda M. Liau

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Marjorie C. Wang, Frederick A. Boop, Douglas Kondziolka, Daniel K. Resnick, Steven N. Kalkanis, Elizabeth Koehnen, Nathan R. Selden, Carl B. Heilman, Alex B. Valadka, Kevin M. Cockroft, John A. Wilson, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Anthony L. Asher, Richard W. Byrne, Paul J. Camarata, Judy Huang, John J. Knightly, Elad I. Levy, Russell R. Lonser, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Fredric B. Meyer, and Linda M. Liau

The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) was incorporated in 1940 in recognition of the need for detailed training in and special qualifications for the practice of neurological surgery and for self-regulation of quality and safety in the field. The ABNS believes it is the duty of neurosurgeons to place a patient’s welfare and rights above all other considerations and to provide care with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty, and integrity. At its inception, the ABNS was the 13th member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which itself was founded in 1933. Today, the ABNS is one of the 24 member boards of the ABMS.

To better serve public health and safety in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ABNS continues to evolve in order to elevate standards for the practice of neurological surgery. In connection with its activities, including initial certification, recognition of focused practice, and continuous certification, the ABNS actively seeks and incorporates input from the public and the physicians it serves. The ABNS board certification processes are designed to evaluate both real-life subspecialty neurosurgical practice and overall neurosurgical knowledge, since most neurosurgeons provide call coverage for hospitals and thus must be competent to care for the full spectrum of neurosurgery.

The purpose of this report is to describe the history, current state, and anticipated future direction of ABNS certification in the US.

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Douglas Kondziolka, William T. Couldwell, and James T. Rutka

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Monica Mureb, Danielle Golub, Carolina Benjamin, Jason Gurewitz, Ben A. Strickland, Gabriel Zada, Eric Chang, Dušan Urgošík, Roman Liščák, Ronald E. Warnick, Herwin Speckter, Skyler Eastman, Anthony M. Kaufmann, Samir Patel, Caleb E. Feliciano, Carlos H. Carbini, David Mathieu, William Leduc, DCS, Sean J. Nagel, Yusuke S. Hori, Yi-Chieh Hung, Akiyoshi Ogino, Andrew Faramand, Hideyuki Kano, L. Dade Lunsford, Jason Sheehan, and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECTIVE

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a chronic pain condition that is difficult to control with conservative management. Furthermore, disabling medication-related side effects are common. This study examined how stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) affects pain outcomes and medication dependence based on the latency period between diagnosis and radiosurgery.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with type I TN at 12 Gamma Knife treatment centers. SRS was the primary surgical intervention in all patients. Patient demographics, disease characteristics, treatment plans, medication histories, and outcomes were reviewed.

RESULTS

Overall, 404 patients were included. The mean patient age at SRS was 70 years, and 60% of the population was female. The most common indication for SRS was pain refractory to medications (81%). The median maximum radiation dose was 80 Gy (range 50–95 Gy), and the mean follow-up duration was 32 months. The mean number of medications between baseline (pre-SRS) and the last follow-up decreased from 1.98 to 0.90 (p < 0.0001), respectively, and this significant reduction was observed across all medication categories. Patients who received SRS within 4 years of their initial diagnosis achieved significantly faster pain relief than those who underwent treatment after 4 years (median 21 vs 30 days, p = 0.041). The 90-day pain relief rate for those who received SRS ≤ 4 years after their diagnosis was 83.8% compared with 73.7% in patients who received SRS > 4 years after their diagnosis. The maximum radiation dose was the strongest predictor of a durable pain response (OR 1.091, p = 0.003). Early intervention (OR 1.785, p = 0.007) and higher maximum radiation dose (OR 1.150, p < 0.0001) were also significant predictors of being pain free (a Barrow Neurological Institute pain intensity score of I–IIIA) at the last follow-up visit. New sensory symptoms of any kind were seen in 98 patients (24.3%) after SRS. Higher maximum radiation dose trended toward predicting new sensory deficits but was nonsignificant (p = 0.075).

CONCLUSIONS

TN patients managed with SRS within 4 years of diagnosis experienced a shorter interval to pain relief with low risk. SRS also yielded significant decreases in adjunct medication utilization. Radiosurgery should be considered earlier in the course of treatment for TN.

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Rebecca M. Burke, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Thomas J. Buell, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Kathryn N. Kearns, Shih-Wei Tzeng, Huai-che Yang, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Natasha Ironside, David Mathieu, Christian Iorio-Morin, Inga S. Grills, Caleb Feliciano, Gene H. Barnett, Robert M. Starke, L. Dade Lunsford, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a treatment option for pediatric brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and early obliteration could encourage SRS utilization for a subset of particularly radiosensitive lesions. The objective of this study was to determine predictors of early obliteration after SRS for pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM database. Obliterated pediatric AVMs were sorted into early (obliteration ≤ 24 months after SRS) and late (obliteration > 24 months after SRS) responders. Predictors of early obliteration were identified, and the outcomes of each group were compared.

RESULTS

The overall study cohort was composed of 345 pediatric patients with obliterated AVMs. The early and late obliteration cohorts were made up of 95 (28%) and 250 (72%) patients, respectively. Independent predictors of early obliteration were female sex, a single SRS treatment, a higher margin dose, a higher isodose line, a deep AVM location, and a smaller AVM volume. The crude rate of post-SRS hemorrhage was 50% lower in the early (3.2%) than in the late (6.4%) obliteration cohorts, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.248). The other outcomes of the early versus late obliteration cohorts were similar, with respect to symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), cyst formation, and tumor formation.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately one-quarter of pediatric AVMs that become obliterated after SRS will achieve this radiological endpoint within 24 months of initial SRS. The authors identified multiple factors associated with early obliteration, which may aid in prognostication and management. The overall risks of delayed hemorrhage, RICs, cyst formation, and tumor formation were not statistically different in patients with early versus late obliteration.

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Yi-Chieh Hung, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Nasser Mohammed, Kathryn N. Kearns, Shi-Bin Sun, David Mathieu, Charles J. Touchette, Ahmet F. Atik, Inga S. Grills, Bryan Squires, Dale Ding, Brian J. Williams, Mehran B. Yusuf, Shiao Y. Woo, Roman Liscak, Jaromir Hanuska, Jay C. Shiao, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford, Zhiyuan Xu, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Central neurocytomas (CNs) are uncommon intraventricular tumors, and their rarity renders the risk-to-benefit profile of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) unknown. The aim of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study was to evaluate the outcomes of SRS for CNs and identify predictive factors.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed a cohort of patients with CNs treated with SRS at 10 centers between 1994 and 2018. Tumor recurrences were classified as local or distant. Adverse radiation effects (AREs) and the need for a CSF shunt were also evaluated.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 60 patients (median age 30 years), 92% of whom had undergone prior resection or biopsy and 8% received their diagnosis based on imaging alone. The median tumor volume and margin dose were 5.9 cm3 and 13 Gy, respectively. After a median clinical follow-up of 61 months, post-SRS tumor recurrence occurred in 8 patients (13%). The 5- and 10-year local tumor control rates were 93% and 87%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 89% and 80%, respectively. AREs were observed in 4 patients (7%), but only 1 was symptomatic (2%). Two patients underwent post-SRS tumor resection (3%). Prior radiotherapy was a predictor of distant tumor recurrence (p = 0.044). Larger tumor volume was associated with pre-SRS shunt surgery (p = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment of appropriately selected CNs with SRS achieves good tumor control rates with a reasonable complication profile. Distant tumor recurrence and dissemination were observed in a small proportion of patients, which underscores the importance of close post-SRS surveillance of CN patients. Patients with larger CNs are more likely to require shunt surgery before SRS.