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Or Cohen-Inbar, Robert M. Starke, Gabriella Paisan, Hideyuki Kano, Paul P. Huang, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, David Mathieu, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, John Y. K. Lee, Gene H. Barnett, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The goal of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is complete nidus obliteration, thereby eliminating the risk of future hemorrhage. This outcome can be observed within the first 18 months, although documentation of AVM obliteration can extend to as much as 5 years after SRS is performed. A shorter time to obliteration may impact the frequency and effect of post-SRS complications and latency hemorrhage. The authors' goal in the present study was to determine predictors of early obliteration (18 months or less) following SRS for cerebral AVM.

METHODS

Eight centers participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) obtained institutional review board approval to supply de-identified patient data. From a cohort of 2231 patients, a total of 1398 patients had confirmed AVM obliteration. Patients were sorted into early responders (198 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration at or prior to 18 months after SRS, and late responders (1200 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration more than 18 months after SRS. The median clinical follow-up time was 63.7 months (range 7–324.7 months).

RESULTS

Outcome parameters including latency interval hemorrhage, mortality, and favorable outcome were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Radiologically demonstrated radiation-induced changes were noted more often in the late responder group (376 patients [31.3%] vs 39 patients [19.7%] for early responders, p = 0.005). Multivariate independent predictors of early obliteration included a margin dose > 24 Gy (p = 0.031), prior surgery (p = 0.002), no prior radiotherapy (p = 0.025), smaller AVM nidus (p = 0.002), deep venous drainage (p = 0.039), and nidus location (p < 0.0001). Basal ganglia, cerebellum, and frontal lobe nidus locations favored early obliteration (p = 0.009). The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (VRAS) score was significantly different between the 2 responder groups (p = 0.039). The VRAS score was also shown to be predictive of early obliteration on univariate analysis (p = 0.009). For early obliteration, such prognostic ability was not shown for other SRS- and AVM-related grading systems.

CONCLUSIONS

Early obliteration (≤ 18 months post-SRS) was more common in patients whose AVMs were smaller, located in the frontal lobe, basal ganglia, or cerebellum, had deep venous drainage, and had received a margin dose > 24 Gy.

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I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Robert F. Dallapiazza, Zhiyuan Xu, John A. Jane Jr. and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is frequently employed to treat residual or recurrent nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas. There is no consensus as to whether GKRS should be used early after surgery or if radiosurgery should be withheld until there is evidence of radiographic progression of tumor.

METHODS

This is a retrospective review of patients with nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas who underwent transsphenoidal surgery followed by GKRS between 1996 and 2013 at the University of Virginia Health System. Patients were stratified based on the interval between resection and radiosurgery. Operative results and imaging and clinical outcomes were compared across groups following early (≤ 6 months) or late (> 6 months) radiosurgery.

RESULTS

Sixty-four patients met the study criteria and were grouped based on early (n = 32) or late (n = 32) GKRS following transsphenoidal resection. There was a greater risk of tumor progression after GKRS in the late radiosurgical group (p = 0.027) over a median radiographic follow-up period of 68.5 months. Furthermore, there was a significantly higher occurrence of post-GKRS endocrinopathy in the late radiosurgical cohort (p = 0.041). Seventeen percent of patients without endocrinopathy in the early cohort developed new endocrinopathies during the follow-up period versus 64% in the late cohort (p = 0.036). This difference was primarily due to a significantly higher rate of tumor growth during the observation period of the late treatment cohort (p = 0.014). Of these patients with completely new endocrinopathies, radiation-associated pituitary insufficiency developed in 1 of 2 patients in the early group and in 3 of 7 (42.9%) patients in the late group.

CONCLUSIONS

Early treatment with GKRS appears to decrease the rate of radiographic and symptomatic progression of subtotally resected nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas compared with late GKRS treatment after a period of expectant management. Delaying radiosurgery may place the patient at increased risk for adenoma progression and endocrinopathy.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Brian D. Kavanagh, Anthony Asher and Robert E. Harbaugh

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) represents a multidisciplinary approach to the delivery of ionizing high-dose radiation to treat a wide variety of disorders. Much of the radiosurgical literature is based upon retrospective single-center studies along with a few randomized controlled clinical trials. More timely and effective evidence is needed to enhance the consistency and quality of and clinical outcomes achieved with SRS. The authors summarize the creation and implementation of a national SRS registry.

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) through NeuroPoint Alliance, Inc., started a successful registry effort with its lumbar spine initiative. Following a similar approach, the AANS and NeuroPoint Alliance collaborated with corporate partners and the American Society for Radiation Oncology to devise a data dictionary for an SRS registry. Through administrative and financial support from professional societies and corporate partners, a framework for implementation of the registry was created. Initial plans were devised for a 3-year effort encompassing 30 high-volume SRS centers across the country. Device-specific web-based data-extraction platforms were built by the corporate partners. Data uploaders were then used to port the data to a common repository managed by Quintiles, a national and international health care trials company.

Audits of the data for completeness and veracity will be undertaken by Quintiles to ensure data fidelity. Data governance and analysis are overseen by an SRS board comprising equal numbers of representatives from the AANS and NeuroPoint Alliance. Over time, quality outcome assessments and post hoc research can be performed to advance the field of SRS.

Stereotactic radiosurgery offers a high-technology approach to treating complex intracranial disorders. Improvements in the consistency and quality of care delivered to patients who undergo SRS should be afforded by the national registry effort that is underway.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Cheng-Chia Lee, Zhiyuan Xu, Colin J. Przybylowski, Patrick D. Melmer and David Schlesinger

OBJECT

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been shown to offer a high probability of tumor control for Grade I meningiomas. However, SRS can sometimes incite edema or exacerbate preexisting edema around the targeted meningioma. The current study evaluates the incidence, timing, and degree of edema around parasagittal or parafalcine meningiomas following SRS.

METHODS

A retrospective review was undertaken of a prospectively maintained database of patients treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery at the University of Virginia Health System. All patients with WHO Grade I parafalcine or parasagittal meningiomas with at least 6 months of clinical follow-up were identified, resulting in 61 patients included in the study. The median radiographic follow-up was 28 months (range 6–158 months). Rates of new or worsening edema were quantitatively assessed using volumetric analysis; edema indices were computed as a function of time following radiosurgery. Statistical methods were used to identify favorable and unfavorable prognostic factors for new or worsening edema.

RESULTS

Progression-free survival at 2 and 5 years was 98% and 90%, respectively, according to Kaplan-Meier analysis. After SRS, new peritumoral edema occurred or preexisting edema worsened in 40% of treated meningiomas. The median time to onset of peak edema was 36 months post-SRS. Persistent and progressive edema was associated with 11 tumors, and resection was undertaken for these lesions. However, 20 patients showed initial edema progression followed by regression at a median of 18 months after radiosurgery (range 6–24 months). Initial tumor volume greater than 10 cm3, absence of prior resection, and higher margin dose were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with increased risk of new or progressive edema after SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery offers a high rate of tumor control in patients with parasagittal or parafalcine meningiomas. However, it can lead to worsening peritumoral edema in a minority of patients. Following radiosurgery, transient edema occurs earlier than persistent and progressive edema. Longitudinal follow-up of meningioma patients after SRS is required to detect and appropriately treat transient as well as progressive edema.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Cheng-Chia Lee, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

The authors review outcomes following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and their correlation to postradiosurgery adverse radiation effects (AREs).

METHODS

From a prospective institutional review board–approved database, the authors identified patients with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up and thin-slice T2-weighted MRI sequences for volumetric analysis. A total of 105 AVM patients were included. The authors analyzed the incidence and quantitative changes in AREs as a function of time after GKRS. Statistical analysis was performed to identify factors related to ARE development and changes in the ARE index.

RESULTS

The median clinical follow-up was 53.8 months (range 24–212.4 months), and the median MRI follow-up was 36.8 months (range 24–212.4 months). 47.6% of patients had an AVM with a Spetzler-Martin grade ≥ III. The median administered margin and maximum doses were 22 and 40 Gy, respectively. The overall obliteration rate was 70.5%. Of patients who showed complete obliteration, 74.4% developed AREs within 4–6 months after GKRS. Late-onset AREs (i.e., > 12 months) correlated to a failure to obliterate the nidus. 58.1% of patients who developed appreciable AREs (defined as ARE index > 8) proceeded to have a complete nidus obliteration. Appreciable AREs were found to be influenced by AVM nidus volume > 3 ml, lobar location, number of draining veins and feeding arteries, prior embolization, and higher margin dose. On the other hand, a minimum ARE index > 8 predicted obliteration (p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

ARE development after radiosurgery follows a temporal pattern peaking at 7–12 months after stereotactic radiosurgery. The ARE index serves as an important adjunct tool in patient follow-up and outcome prediction.

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Dale Ding, Mark Quigg, Robert M. Starke, Zhiyuan Xu, Chun-Po Yen, Colin J. Przybylowski, Blair K. Dodson and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

The temporal lobe is particularly susceptible to epileptogenesis. However, the routine use of anticonvulsant therapy is not implemented in temporal lobe AVM patients without seizures at presentation. The goals of this case-control study were to determine the radiosurgical outcomes for temporal lobe AVMs and to define the effect of temporal lobe location on postradiosurgery AVM seizure outcomes.

METHODS

From a database of approximately 1400 patients, the authors generated a case cohort from patients with temporal lobe AVMs with at least 2 years follow-up or obliteration. A control cohort with similar baseline AVM characteristics was generated, blinded to outcome, from patients with non-temporal, cortical AVMs. They evaluated the rates and predictors of seizure freedom or decreased seizure frequency in patients with seizures or de novo seizures in those without seizures.

RESULTS

A total of 175 temporal lobe AVMs were identified based on the inclusion criteria. Seizure was the presenting symptom in 38% of patients. The median AVM volume was 3.3 cm3, and the Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 39% of cases. The median radiosurgical prescription dose was 22 Gy. At a median clinical follow-up of 73 months, the rates of seizure control and de novo seizures were 62% and 2%, respectively. Prior embolization (p = 0.023) and lower radiosurgical dose (p = 0.027) were significant predictors of seizure control. Neither temporal lobe location (p = 0.187) nor obliteration (p = 0.522) affected seizure outcomes. The cumulative obliteration rate was 63%, which was significantly higher in patients without seizures at presentation (p = 0.046). The rates of symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes were 3% and 1%, respectively. The annual risk of postradiosurgery hemorrhage was 1.3%.

CONCLUSIONS

Radiosurgery is an effective treatment for temporal lobe AVMs. Furthermore, radiosurgery is protective against seizure progression in patients with temporal lobe AVM–associated seizures. Temporal lobe location does not affect radiosurgery-induced seizure control. The low risk of new-onset seizures in patients with temporal or extratemporal AVMs does not seem to warrant prophylactic use of anticonvulsants.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Hideyuki Kano, Zhiyuan Xu, Veronica Chiang, David Mathieu, Samuel Chao, Berkcan Akpinar, John Y.K. Lee, James B. Yu, Judith Hess, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wen-Yuh Chung, John Pierce, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Michelle Alonso-Basanta, Gene H. Barnett and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

Facial nerve schwannomas (FNSs) are rare intracranial tumors, and the optimal management of these tumors remains unclear. Resection can be undertaken, but the tumor’s intimate association with the facial nerve makes resection with neurological preservation quite challenging. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used to treat FNSs, and this study evaluates the outcome of this approach.

METHODS

At 8 medical centers participating in the North American Gamma Knife Consortium (NAGKC), 42 patients undergoing SRS for an FNS were identified, and clinical and radiographic data were obtained for these cases. Males outnumbered females at a ratio of 1.2:1, and the patients’ median age was 48 years (range 11–76 years). Prior resection was performed in 36% of cases. The mean tumor volume was 1.8 cm3, and a mean margin dose of 12.5 Gy (range 11–15 Gy) was delivered to the tumor.

RESULTS

At a median follow-up of 28 months, tumor control was achieved in 36 (90%) of the 40 patients with reliable radiographic follow-up. Actuarial tumor control was 97%, 97%, 97%, and 90% at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years postradiosurgery. Preoperative facial nerve function was preserved in 38 of 42 patients, with 60% of evaluable patients having House-Brackmann scores of 1 or 2 at last follow-up. Treated patients with a House-Brackmann score of 1 to 3 were more likely to demonstrate this level of facial nerve function at last evaluation (OR 6.09, 95% CI 1.7–22.0, p = 0.006). Avoidance of temporary or permanent neurological symptoms was more likely to be achieved in patients who received a tumor margin dose of 12.5 Gy or less (log-rank test, p = 0.024) delivered to a tumor of ≤ 1 cm3 in volume (log-rank test, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery resulted in tumor control and neurological preservation in most FNS patients. When the tumor is smaller and the patient exhibits favorable normal facial nerve function, SRS portends a better result. The authors believe that early, upfront SRS may be the treatment of choice for small FNSs, but it is an effective salvage treatment for residual/recurrent tumor that remain or progress after resection.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, Gene H. Barnett, David Mathieu, Veronica Chiang, James B. Yu, Judith Hess, Heyoung L. McBride, Norissa Honea, Peter Nakaji, John Y. K. Lee, Gazanfar Rahmathulla, Wendi A. Evanoff, Michelle Alonso-Basanta and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

Posterior fossa meningiomas represent a common yet challenging clinical entity. They are often associated with neurovascular structures and adjacent to the brainstem. Resection can be undertaken for posterior fossa meningiomas, but residual or recurrent tumor is frequent. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used to treat meningiomas, and this study evaluates the outcome of this approach for those located in the posterior fossa.

METHODS

At 7 medical centers participating in the North American Gamma Knife Consortium, 675 patients undergoing SRS for a posterior fossa meningioma were identified, and clinical and radiological data were obtained for these cases. Females outnumbered males at a ratio of 3.8 to 1, and the median patient age was 57.6 years (range 12–89 years). Prior resection was performed in 43.3% of the patient sample. The mean tumor volume was 6.5 cm3, and a median margin dose of 13.6 Gy (range 8–40 Gy) was delivered to the tumor.

RESULTS

At a mean follow-up of 60.1 months, tumor control was achieved in 91.2% of cases. Actuarial tumor control was 95%, 92%, and 81% at 3, 5, and 10 years after radiosurgery. Factors predictive of tumor progression included age greater than 65 years (hazard ratio [HR] 2.36, 95% CI 1.30–4.29, p = 0.005), prior history of radiotherapy (HR 5.19, 95% CI 1.69–15.94, p = 0.004), and increasing tumor volume (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.08, p = 0.005). Clinical stability or improvement was achieved in 92.3% of patients. Increasing tumor volume (odds ratio [OR] 1.06, 95% CI 1.01–1.10, p = 0.009) and clival, petrous, or cerebellopontine angle location as compared with petroclival, tentorial, and foramen magnum location (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.05–3.65, p = 0.036) were predictive of neurological decline after radiosurgery. After radiosurgery, ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement, resection, and radiation therapy were performed in 1.6%, 3.6%, and 1.5%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery affords a high rate of tumor control and neurological preservation for patients with posterior fossa meningiomas. Those with a smaller tumor volume and no prior radiation therapy were more likely to have a favorable response after radiosurgery. Rarely, additional procedures may be required for hydrocephalus or tumor progression.