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Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, Dale Ding, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, Jamie Whitesell, John T. Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Chun-Po Yen, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodgriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Daniel R. Pieper, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

In this multicenter study, the authors reviewed the results following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), determined predictors of outcome, and assessed predictive value of commonly used grading scales based upon this large cohort with long-term follow-up.

METHODS

Data from a cohort of 2236 patients undergoing GKRS for cerebral AVMs were compiled from the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent symptomatic radiation-induced complications. Patient and AVM characteristics were assessed to determine predictors of outcome, and commonly used grading scales were assessed.

RESULTS

The mean maximum AVM diameter was 2.3 cm, with a mean volume of 4.3 cm3. A mean margin dose of 20.5 Gy was delivered. Mean follow-up was 7 years (range 1–20 years). Overall obliteration was 64.7%. Post-GRKS hemorrhage occurred in 165 patients (annual risk 1.1%). Radiation-induced imaging changes occurred in 29.2%; 9.7% were symptomatic, and 2.7% had permanent deficits. Favorable outcome was achieved in 60.3% of patients. Patients with prior nidal embolization (OR 2.1, p < 0.001), prior AVM hemorrhage (OR 1.3, p = 0.007), eloquent location (OR 1.3, p = 0.029), higher volume (OR 1.01, p < 0.001), lower margin dose (OR 0.9, p < 0.001), and more isocenters (OR 1.1, p = 0.011) were more likely to have unfavorable outcomes in multivariate analysis. The Spetzler-Martin grade and radiosurgery-based AVM score predicted outcome, but the Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale provided the best assessment.

CONCLUSIONS

GKRS for cerebral AVMs achieves obliteration and avoids permanent complications in the majority of patients. Patient, AVM, and treatment parameters can be used to predict long-term outcomes following radiosurgery.

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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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Colin J. Przybylowski, Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Chun-Po Yen, Mark Quigg, Blair Dodson, Benjamin Z. Ball and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

Epilepsy associated with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) has an unclear course after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Neither the risks of persistent seizures nor the requirement for postoperative antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are well defined.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of all patients with AVMs who underwent SRS at the University of Virginia Health System from 1989 to 2012. Seizure status was categorized according to a modified Engel classification. The effects of demographic, AVM-related, and SRS treatment factors on seizure outcomes were evaluated with logistic regression analysis. Changes in AED status were evaluated using McNemar's test.

RESULTS

Of the AVM patients with pre- or post-SRS seizures, 73 with pre-SRS epilepsy had evaluable data for subsequent analysis. The median patient age was 37 years (range 5–69 years), and the median follow-up period was 65.6 months (range 12–221 months). Sixty-five patients (89%) achieved seizure remission (Engel Class IA or IB outcome). Patients presenting with simple partial or secondarily generalized seizures were more likely to achieve Engel Class I outcome (p = 0.045). Twenty-one (33%) of 63 patients tapered off of pre-SRS AEDs. The incidence of freedom from AED therapy increased significantly after SRS (p < 0.001, McNemar's test). Of the Engel Class IA patients who continued AED therapy, 54% had patent AVM nidi, whereas only 19% continued AED therapy with complete AVM obliteration (p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective treatment for long-term AVM-related epilepsy. Seizure-free patients on continued AED therapy were more likely to have residual AVM nidi. Simple partial or secondarily generalized seizure type were associated with better seizure outcomes following SRS.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Cheng-Chia Lee, Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Srinivas Chivukula, Chun-Po Yen, Shayan Moosa, Zhiyuan Xu, David Hung-Chi Pan and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

The goal of this study was to evaluate the obliteration rate of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) in patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and to compare obliteration rates between cavernous sinus (CS) and noncavernous sinus (NCS) DAVFs, and between DAVFs with and without cortical venous drainage (CVD).

METHODS

A systematic literature review was performed using PubMed. The CS DAVFs and the NCS DAVFs were categorized using the Barrow and Borden classification systems, respectively. The DAVFs were also categorized by location and by the presence of CVD. Statistical analyses of pooled data were conducted to assess complete obliteration rates in CS and NCS DAVFs, and in DAVFs with and without CVD.

RESULTS

Nineteen studies were included, comprising 729 patients harboring 743 DAVFs treated with SRS. The mean obliteration rate was 63% (95% CI 52.4%–73.6%). Complete obliteration for CS and NCS DAVFs was achieved in 73% and 58% of patients, respectively. No significant difference in obliteration rates between CS and NCS DAVFs was found (OR 1.72, 95% CI 0.66–4.46; p = 0.27). Complete obliteration in DAVFs with and without CVD was observed in 56% and 75% of patients, respectively. A significantly higher obliteration rate was observed in DAVFs without CVD compared with DAVFs with CVD (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.07–5.28; p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment with SRS offers favorable rates of DAVF obliteration with low complication rates. Patients harboring DAVFs that are refractory or not amenable to endovascular or surgical therapy may be safely and effectively treated using SRS.

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Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Ching-Jen Chen, Srinivas Chivukula, Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Cheng-Chia Lee, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Seizures are a common presentation of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The authors evaluated the efficacy of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the management of seizures associated with AVMs and identified factors influencing seizure outcomes following SRS for AVMs.

Methods

A systematic literature review was performed using PubMed. Studies selected for review were published in English, included at least 5 patients with both cerebral AVMs and presenting seizures treated with SRS, and provided post-SRS outcome data regarding obliteration of AVMs and/or seizures. Demographic, radiosurgical, radiological, and seizure outcome data were extracted and analyzed. All seizure outcomes were categorized as follows: 1) seizure free, 2) seizure improvement, 3) seizure unchanged, and 4) seizure worsened. Systematic statistical analysis was conducted to assess the effect of post-SRS AVM obliteration on seizure outcome.

Results

Nineteen case series with a total of 3971 AVM patients were included for analysis. Of these, 28% of patients presented with seizures, and data for 997 patients with available seizure outcome data who met the inclusion criteria were evaluated. Of these, 437 (43.8%) patients achieved seizure-free status after SRS, and 530 (68.7%) of 771 patients with available data achieved seizure control (seizure freedom or seizure improvement) following SRS. Factors associated with improved seizure outcomes following SRS for AVMs were analyzed in 9 studies. Seizure-free status was achieved in 82% and 41.0% of patients with complete and incomplete AVM obliteration, respectively. Complete AVM obliteration offered superior seizure-free rates compared with incomplete AVM obliteration (OR 6.13; 95% CI 2.16–17.44; p = 0.0007).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery offers favorable seizure outcomes for AVM patients presenting with seizures. Improved seizure control is significantly more likely with complete AVM obliteration.

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Shayan Moosa, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Cheng-Chia Lee, Srinivas Chivukula, Robert M. Starke, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

The aim in this paper was to compare the outcomes of dose-staged and volume-staged stereotactic radio-surgery (SRS) in the treatment of large (> 10 cm3) arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Methods

A systematic literature review was performed using PubMed. Studies written in the English language with at least 5 patients harboring large (> 10 cm3) AVMs treated with dose- or volume-staged SRS that reported post-treatment outcomes data were selected for review. Demographic information, radiosurgical treatment parameters, and post-SRS outcomes and complications were analyzed for each of these studies.

Results

The mean complete obliteration rates for the dose- and volume-staged groups were 22.8% and 47.5%, respectively. Complete obliteration was demonstrated in 30 of 161 (18.6%) and 59 of 120 (49.2%) patients in the dose- and volume-staged groups, respectively. The mean rates of symptomatic radiation-induced changes were 13.5% and 13.6% in dose- and volume-staged groups, respectively. The mean rates of cumulative post-SRS latency period hemorrhage were 12.3% and 17.8% in the dose- and volume-staged groups, respectively. The mean rates of post-SRS mortality were 3.2% and 4.6% in dose- and volume-staged groups, respectively.

Conclusions

Volume-staged SRS affords higher obliteration rates and similar complication rates compared with dose-staged SRS. Thus, volume-staged SRS may be a superior approach for large AVMs that are not amenable to single-session SRS. Staged radiosurgery should be considered as an efficacious component of multimodality AVM management.

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

Object

Low-grade, or Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grades I and II, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are associated with lower surgical morbidity rates than higher-grade lesions. While radiosurgery is now widely accepted as an effective treatment approach for AVMs, the risks and benefits of the procedure for low-grade AVMs, as compared with microsurgery, remain poorly understood. The authors of this study present the outcomes for a large cohort of low-grade AVMs treated with radiosurgery.

Methods

From an institutional radiosurgery database comprising approximately 1450 AVM cases, all patients with SM Grade I and II lesions were identified. Patients with less than 2 years of radiological follow-up, except those with complete AVM obliteration, were excluded from analysis. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional-hazards and logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with obliteration, radiation-induced changes (RICs), and hemorrhage following radiosurgery.

Results

Five hundred two patients harboring low-grade AVMs were eligible for analysis. The median age was 35 years, 50% of patients were male, and the most common presentation was hemorrhage (47%). The median AVM volume and prescription dose were 2.4 cm3 and 23 Gy, respectively. The median radiological and clinical follow-up intervals were 48 and 62 months, respectively. The cumulative obliteration rate was 76%. The median time to obliteration was 40 months, and the actuarial obliteration rates were 66% and 80% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Independent predictors of obliteration were no preradiosurgery embolization (p < 0.001), decreased AVM volume (p = 0.005), single draining vein (p = 0.013), lower radiosurgery-based AVM scale score (p = 0.016), and lower Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (Virginia RAS) score (p = 0.001). The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.4% with increased AVM volume (p = 0.034) and lower prescription dose (p = 0.006) as independent predictors. Symptomatic and permanent RICs were observed in 8.2% and 1.4% of patients, respectively. No preradiosurgery hemorrhage (p = 0.011), a decreased prescription dose (p = 0.038), and a higher Virginia RAS score (p = 0.001) were independently associated with postradiosurgery RICs.

Conclusions

Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II AVMs are very amenable to successful treatment with stereotactic radiosurgery. While patient, physician, and institutional preferences frequently dictate the final course of treatment, radiosurgery offers a favorable risk-to-benefit profile for the management of low-grade AVMs.