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Dale Ding, Zhiyuan Xu, Ian T. McNeill, Chun-Po Yen and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Parasagittal and parafalcine (PSPF) meningiomas represent the second most common location for intracranial meningiomas. Involvement of the superior sagittal sinus or deep draining veins may prevent gross-total resection of these tumors without significant morbidity. The authors review their results for treatment of PSPF meningiomas with radiosurgery.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the institutional review board–approved University of Virginia Gamma Knife database and identified 65 patients with 90 WHO Grade I parasagittal (59%) and parafalcine (41%) meningiomas who had a mean MRI follow-up of 56.6 months. The patients' mean age was 57 years, the median preradiosurgery Karnofsky Performance Status score was 80, and the median initial tumor and treatment volumes were 3 and 3.7 cm3, respectively. The median prescription dose was 15 Gy, isodose line was 40%, and the number of isocenters was 5. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to determine progression-free survival (PFS). Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with PFS.

Results

The median overall PFS was 75.6 months. The actuarial tumor control rate was 85% at 3 years and 70% at 5 years. Parasagittal location, no prior resection, and younger age were found to be independent predictors of tumor PFS. For the 49 patients with clinical follow-up (mean 70.8 months), the median postradiosurgery Karnofsky Performance Status score was 90. Symptomatic postradiosurgery peritumoral edema was observed in 4 patients (8.2%); this group comprised 3 patients (6.1%) with temporary and 1 patient (2%) with permanent clinical sequelae. Two patients (4.1%) died of tumor progression.

Conclusions

Radiosurgery offers a minimally invasive treatment option for PSPF meningiomas, with a good tumor control rate and an acceptable complication rate comparable to most surgical series.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Robert M. Starke, David Mathieu, Byron Young, Penny K. Sneed, Veronica L. Chiang, John Y. K. Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Kyung-Jae Park, Ajay Niranjan, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, Stephen Rush, John G. Golfinos and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Pituitary adenomas are fairly common intracranial neoplasms, and nonfunctioning ones constitute a large subgroup of these adenomas. Complete resection is often difficult and may pose undue risk to neurological and endocrine function. Stereotactic radiosurgery has come to play an important role in the management of patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. This study examines the outcomes after radiosurgery in a large, multicenter patient population.

Methods

Under the auspices of the North American Gamma Knife Consortium, 9 Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) centers retrospectively combined their outcome data obtained in 512 patients with nonfunctional pituitary adenomas. Prior resection was performed in 479 patients (93.6%) and prior fractionated external-beam radiotherapy was performed in 34 patients (6.6%). The median age at the time of radiosurgery was 53 years. Fifty-eight percent of patients had some degree of hypopituitarism prior to radiosurgery. Patients received a median dose of 16 Gy to the tumor margin. The median follow-up was 36 months (range 1–223 months).

Results

Overall tumor control was achieved in 93.4% of patients at last follow-up; actuarial tumor control was 98%, 95%, 91%, and 85% at 3, 5, 8, and 10 years postradiosurgery, respectively. Smaller adenoma volume (OR 1.08 [95% CI 1.02–1.13], p = 0.006) and absence of suprasellar extension (OR 2.10 [95% CI 0.96–4.61], p = 0.064) were associated with progression-free tumor survival. New or worsened hypopituitarism after radiosurgery was noted in 21% of patients, with thyroid and cortisol deficiencies reported as the most common postradiosurgery endocrinopathies. History of prior radiation therapy and greater tumor margin doses were predictive of new or worsening endocrinopathy after GKS. New or progressive cranial nerve deficits were noted in 9% of patients; 6.6% had worsening or new onset optic nerve dysfunction. In multivariate analysis, decreasing age, increasing volume, history of prior radiation therapy, and history of prior pituitary axis deficiency were predictive of new or worsening cranial nerve dysfunction. No patient died as a result of tumor progression. Favorable outcomes of tumor control and neurological preservation were reflected in a 4-point radiosurgical pituitary score.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is an effective and well-tolerated management strategy for the vast majority of patients with recurrent or residual nonfunctional pituitary adenomas. Delayed hypopituitarism is the most common complication after radiosurgery. Neurological and cranial nerve function were preserved in more than 90% of patients after radiosurgery. The radiosurgical pituitary score may predict outcomes for future patients who undergo GKS for a nonfunctioning adenoma.

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Brian J. Williams, Zhiyuan Xu, David J. Salvetti, Ian T. McNeill, James Larner and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is a safe and effective treatment for patients with small to moderately sized vestibular schwannomas (VSs). Reports of stereotactic radiosurgery for large VSs have demonstrated worse tumor control and preservation of neurological function. The authors endeavored to assess the effect of size of VSs treated using GKS.

Methods

This study was a retrospective comparison of 24 patients with large VSs (> 3 cm in maximum diameter) treated with GKS compared with 49 small VSs (≤ 3 cm) matched for age, sex, radiosurgical margin and maximal doses, length of follow-up, and indication.

Results

Actuarial tumor progression-free survival (PFS) for the large VS cohort was 95.2% and 81.8% at 3 and 5 years, respectively, compared with 97% and 90% for small VSs (p = 0.009). Overall clinical outcome was better in small VSs compared with large VSs (p < 0.001). Patients with small VSs presenting with House-Brackmann Grade I (good facial function) had better neurological outcomes compared with patients with large VSs (p = 0.003). Treatment failure occurred in 6 patients with large VSs; 3 each were treated with resection or repeat GKS. Treatment failure did not occur in the small VS group. Two patients in the large VS group required ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. Univariate analysis did not identify any predictors of treatment failure among the large VS cohort.

Conclusions

Patients with large VSs treated using GKS had shorter PFS and worse clinical outcomes compared with age-, sex-, and indication-matched patients with small VSs. Nevertheless, GKS has efficacy for some patients with large VSs and represents a reasonable treatment option for selected patients.

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W. Jeff Elias, Mohamad Khaled, Justin D. Hilliard, Jean-Francois Aubry, Robert C. Frysinger, Jason P. Sheehan, Max Wintermark and Maria Beatriz Lopes

Object

The purpose of this study was to use MRI and histology to compare stereotactic lesioning modalities in a large brain model of thalamotomy.

Methods

A unilateral thalamotomy was performed in piglets utilizing one of 3 stereotactic lesioning modalities: focused ultrasound (FUS), radiofrequency, and radiosurgery. Standard clinical lesioning parameters were used for each treatment; and clinical, MRI, and histological assessments were made at early (< 72 hours), subacute (1 week), and later (1–3 months) time intervals.

Results

Histological and MRI assessment showed similar development for FUS and radiofrequency lesions. T2-weighted MRI revealed 3 concentric lesional zones at 48 hours with resolution of perilesional edema by 1 week. Acute ischemic infarction with macrophage infiltration was most prominent at 72 hours, with subsequent resolution of the inflammatory reaction and coalescence of the necrotic zone. There was no apparent difference in ischemic penumbra or “sharpness” between FUS or radiofrequency lesions. The radiosurgery lesions presented differently, with latent effects, less circumscribed lesions at 3 months, and apparent histological changes seen in white matter beyond the thalamic target. Additionally, thermal and radiation lesioning gradients were compared with modeling by dose to examine the theoretical penumbra.

Conclusions

In swine thalamus, FUS and radiosurgery lesions evolve similarly as determined by MRI, histological examination, and theoretical modeling. Radiosurgery produces lesions with more delayed effects and seemed to result in changes in the white matter beyond the thalamic target.

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Douglas Kondziolka

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Dale Ding, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, Robert M. Starke and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

The appropriate management of unruptured intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains controversial. In the present study, the authors evaluate the radiographic and clinical outcomes of radiosurgery for a large cohort of patients with unruptured AVMs.

Methods

From a prospective database of 1204 cases of AVMs involving patients treated with radiosurgery at their institution, the authors identified 444 patients without evidence of rupture prior to radiosurgery. The patients' mean age was 36.9 years, and 50% were male. The mean AVM nidus volume was 4.2 cm3, 13.5% of the AVMs were in a deep location, and 44.4% were at least Spetzler-Martin Grade III. The median radiosurgical prescription dose was 20 Gy. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to determine risk factors associated with obliteration, postradiosurgery hemorrhage, radiation-induced changes, and postradiosurgery cyst formation. The mean duration of radiological and clinical follow-up was 76 months and 86 months, respectively.

Results

The cumulative AVM obliteration rate was 62%, and the postradiosurgery annual hemorrhage rate was 1.6%. Radiation-induced changes were symptomatic in 13.7% and permanent in 2.0% of patients. The statistically significant independent positive predictors of obliteration were no preradiosurgery embolization (p < 0.001), increased prescription dose (p < 0.001), single draining vein (p < 0.001), radiological presence of radiation-induced changes (p = 0.004), and lower Spetzler-Martin grade (p = 0.016). Increased volume and higher Pittsburgh radiosurgery-based AVM score were predictors of postradiosurgery hemorrhage in the univariate analysis only. Clinical deterioration occurred in 30 patients (6.8%), more commonly in patients with postradiosurgery hemorrhage (p = 0.018).

Conclusions

Radiosurgery afforded a reasonable chance of obliteration of unruptured AVMs with relatively low rates of clinical and radiological complications.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Zhiyuan Xu, Britney Popp, Leigh Kowalski and David Schlesinger

Object

The survival of patients with high-grade gliomas remains unfavorable. Mibefradil, a T-type calcium channel inhibitor capable of synchronizing dividing cells at the G1 phase, has demonstrated potential benefit in conjunction with chemotherapeutic agents for gliomas in in vitro studies. In vivo study of mibefradil and radiosurgery is lacking. The authors used an intracranial C6 glioma model in rats to study tumor response to mibefradil and radiosurgery.

Methods

Two weeks after implantation of C6 cells into the animals, each rat underwent MRI every 2 weeks thereafter for 8 weeks. After tumor was confirmed on MRI, the rats were randomly assigned to one of the experimental groups. Tumor volumes were measured on MR images. Experimental Group 1 received 30 mg/kg of mibefradil intraperitoneally 3 times a day for 1 week starting on postoperative day (POD) 15; Group 2 received 8 Gy of cranial radiation via radiosurgery delivered on POD 15; Group 3 underwent radiosurgery on POD 15, followed by 1 week of mibefradil; and Group 4 received mibefradil on POD 15 for 1 week, followed by radiosurgery sometime from POD 15 to POD 22. Twenty-seven glioma-bearing rats were analyzed. Survival was compared between groups using Kaplan-Meier methodology.

Results

Median survival in Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 was 35, 31, 43, and 52 days, respectively (p = 0.036, log-rank test). Two animals in Group 4 survived to POD 60, which is twice the expected survival of untreated animals in this model. Analysis of variance and a post hoc test indicated no tumor volume differences on PODs 15 and 29. However, significant volume differences were found on POD 43; mean tumor volumes for Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 250, 266, 167, and 34 mm3, respectively (p = 0.046, ANOVA). A Cox proportional hazards regression test showed survival was associated with tumor volume on POD 29 (p = 0.001) rather than on POD 15 (p = 0.162). In vitro assays demonstrated an appreciable and dose-dependent increase in apoptosis between 2- and 7-μM concentrations of mibefradil.

Conclusions

Mibefradil response is schedule dependent and enhances survival and reduces glioblastoma when combined with ionizing radiation.

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Mark Quigg, Chun-Po Yen, Micaela Chatman, Anders H. Quigg, Ian T. McNeill, Colin J. Przybylowski, Guofen Yan and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension may be associated with complications following fractionated radiotherapy. To date no studies have determined the risk of radiation toxicity in patients with DM or hypertension who have undergone Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The goal of the present study was to determine associations between DM or hypertension and other factors in the development of radiotoxicity, as measured by radiation-induced changes (RICs) on MR images following radiosurgery for AVM.

Methods

Using univariate methods and multivariate logistic regression, the authors compared the RIC status in patients 18 years of age and older with these patients' history of, or medication use for, DM or hypertension; tobacco use; patient age and sex; AVM volume; Spetzler-Martin AVM severity scale (Grades I and II vs Grades III–V); AVM surgery, AVM embolization, or hemorrhage prior to radiosurgery; AVM location; number of draining veins; and radiosurgery margin dose.

Results

Radiation-induced changes occurred in 38% of 539 adults within a mean (± standard deviation) of 12 ± 10 months after radiosurgery, as observed during a median follow-up time of 55 months. Among patients in whom RICs occurred, 34% had headaches, neurological deficits, or new-onset seizures. Larger RICs were associated with worse symptoms. According to a univariate analysis, DM (3% of patients), larger AVM volume, worse Spetzler-Martin grade, lack of AVM surgery prior to radiosurgery, lack of hemorrhage prior to radiosurgery, and smaller margin dose of radiation had significant associations with the presence of RICs. Hypertension (20%), patient sex, tobacco use, number of draining veins, superficial or deep location of the lesion, and AVM embolization prior to radiosurgery had no association with the presence of RICs. According to a multivariate analysis, larger AVM volume, worse Spetzler-Martin grade, and no AVM surgery prior to radiosurgery predicted the occurrence of an RIC. Diabetes mellitus had borderline significance.

Conclusions

Vascular factors such as hypertension, patient sex, and tobacco use did not convey additional risks of radiotoxicity, but DM remained a possible cardiovascular risk factor in the development of RICs.

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Stephen J. Monteith, Ricky Medel, Neal F. Kassell, Max Wintermark, Matthew Eames, John Snell, Eyal Zadicario, Javier Grinfeld, Jason P. Sheehan and W. Jeff Elias

Object

Transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) is evolving as a treatment modality in neurosurgery. Until now, the trigeminal nerve was believed to be beyond the treatment envelope of existing high-frequency transcranial MRgFUS systems. In this study, the authors explore the feasibility of targeting the trigeminal nerve in a cadaveric model with temperature assessments using computer simulations and an in vitro skull phantom model fitted with thermocouples.

Methods

Six trigeminal nerves from 4 unpreserved cadavers were targeted in the first experiment. Preprocedural CT scanning of the head was performed to allow for a skull correction algorithm. Three-Tesla, volumetric, FIESTA MRI sequences were performed to delineate the trigeminal nerve and any vascular structures of the cisternal segment. The cadaver was positioned in a focused ultrasound transducer (650-kHz system, ExAblate Neuro, InSightec) so that the focus of the transducer was centered at the proximal trigeminal nerve, allowing for targeting of the root entry zone (REZ) and the cisternal segment. Real-time, 2D thermometry was performed during the 10- to 30-second sonication procedures. Post hoc MR thermometry was performed on a computer workstation at the conclusion of the procedure to analyze temperature effects at neuroanatomical areas of interest. Finally, the region of the trigeminal nerve was targeted in a gel phantom encased within a human cranium, and temperature changes in regions of interest in the skull base were measured using thermocouples.

Results

The trigeminal nerves were clearly identified in all cadavers for accurate targeting. Sequential sonications of 25–1500 W for 10–30 seconds were successfully performed along the length of the trigeminal nerve starting at the REZ. Real-time MR thermometry confirmed the temperature increase as a narrow focus of heating by a mean of 10°C. Postprocedural thermometry calculations and thermocouple experiments in a phantom skull were performed and confirmed minimal heating of adjacent structures including the skull base, cranial nerves, and cerebral vessels. For targeting, inclusion of no-pass regions through the petrous bone decreased collateral heating in the internal acoustic canal from 16.7°C without blocking to 5.7°C with blocking. Temperature at the REZ target decreased by 3.7°C with blocking. Similarly, for midcisternal targeting, collateral heating at the internal acoustic canal was improved from a 16.3°C increase to a 4.9°C increase. Blocking decreased the target temperature increase by 4.4°C for the same power settings.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates focal heating of up to 18°C in a cadaveric trigeminal nerve at the REZ and along the cisternal segment with transcranial MRgFUS. Significant heating of the skull base and surrounding neural structures did not occur with implementation of no-pass regions. However, in vivo studies are necessary to confirm the safety and efficacy of this potentially new, noninvasive treatment.

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Chun-Po Yen, Julie A. Matsumoto, Max Wintermark, Lucia Schwyzer, Avery J. Evans, Mary E. Jensen, Mark E. Shaffrey and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence, severity, clinical manifestations, and risk factors of radiation-induced imaging changes (RIICs) following Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Methods

A total of 1426 GKS procedures performed for AVMs with imaging follow-up available were analyzed. Radiation-induced imaging changes were defined as newly developed increased T2 signal surrounding the treated AVM nidi. A grading system was developed to categorize the severity of RIICs. Grade I RIICs were mild imaging changes imposing no mass effect on the surrounding brain. Grade II RIICs were moderate changes causing effacement of the sulci or compression of the ventricles. Grade III RIICs were severe changes causing midline shift of the brain. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied to test factors potentially affecting the occurrence, severity, and associated symptoms of RIICs.

Results

A total of 482 nidi (33.8%) developed RIICs following GKS, with 281 classified as Grade I, 164 as Grade II, and 37 as Grade III. The median duration from GKS to the development of RIICs was 13 months (range 2–124 months). The imaging changes disappeared completely within 2–128 months (median 22 months) following the development of RIICs. The RIICs were symptomatic in 122 patients, yielding an overall incidence of symptomatic RIICs of 8.6%. Twenty-six patients (1.8%) with RIICs had permanent deficits. A negative history of prior surgery, no prior hemorrhage, large nidus, and a single draining vein were associated with a higher risk of RIICs.

Conclusions

Radiation-induced imaging changes are the most common adverse effects following GKS. Fortunately, few of the RIICs are symptomatic and most of the symptoms are reversible. Patients with a relatively healthy brain and nidi that are large, or with a single draining vein, are more likely to develop RIICs.