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Cheng-Chia Lee, Michael A. Reardon, Benjamin Z. Ball, Ching-Jen Chen, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, Max Wintermark and Jason Sheehan

OBJECT

The current gold standard for diagnosing arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and assessing its obliteration after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Recently, MRI and MR angiography (MRA) have become increasingly popular imaging modalities for the follow-up of patients with an AVM because of their convenient setup and noninvasiveness. In this study, the authors assessed the sensitivity and specificity of MRI/MRA in evaluating AVM nidus obliteration as assessed by DSA.

METHODS

The authors study a consecutive series of 136 patients who underwent SRS between January 2000 and December 2012 and who underwent regular clinical examinations, several MRI studies, and at least 1 post-SRS DSA follow- up evaluation at the University of Virginia. The average follow-up time was 47.3 months (range 10.1–165.2 months). Two blinded observers were enrolled to interpret the results of MRI/MRA compared with those of DSA. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for the obliteration of AVM were reported.

RESULTS

On the basis of DSA, 73 patients (53.7%) achieved final angiographic obliteration in a median of 28.8 months. The sensitivity (the probability of finding obliteration on MRI/MRA among those for whom complete obliteration was shown on DSA) was 84.9% for one observer (Observer 1) and 76.7% for the other (Observer 2). The specificity was 88.9% and 95.2%, respectively. The false-negative interpretations were significantly related to the presence of draining veins, perinidal edema on T2-weighted images, and the interval between the MRI/MRA and DSA studies.

CONCLUSIONS

MRI/MRA predicted AVM obliteration after SRS in most patients and can be used in their follow-up. However, because the specificity of MRI/MRA is not perfect, DSA should still be performed to confirm AVM nidus obliteration after SRS.

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Cheng-Chia Lee, Ching-Jen Chen, Benjamin Ball, David Schlesinger, Zhiyuan Xu, Chun-Po Yen and Jason Sheehan

OBJECT

Onyx, an ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer mixed in a dimethyl sulfoxide solvent, is currently one of the most widely used liquid materials for embolization of intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The goal of this study was to define the risks and benefits of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for patients who have previously undergone partial AVM embolization with Onyx.

METHODS

Among a consecutive series of 199 patients who underwent SRS between January 2007 and December 2012 at the University of Virginia, 25 patients had Onyx embolization prior to SRS (the embolization group). To analyze the obliteration rates and complications, 50 patients who underwent SRS without prior embolization (the no-embolization group) were matched by propensity score method. The matched variables included age, sex, nidus volume before SRS, margin dose, Spetzler-Martin grade, Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale score, and median imaging follow-up period.

RESULTS

After Onyx embolization, 18 AVMs were reduced in size. Total obliteration was achieved in 6 cases (24%) at a median of 27.5 months after SRS. In the no-embolization group, total obliteration was achieved in 20 patients (40%) at a median of 22.4 months after SRS. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated obliteration rates of 17.7% and 34.1% in the embolization group at 2 and 4 years, respectively. In the no-embolization group, the corresponding obliteration rates were 27.0% and 55.9%. The between-groups difference in obliteration rates after SRS did not achieve statistical significance. The difference in complications, including adverse radiation effects, hemorrhage episodes, seizure control, and patient mortality also did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS

Onyx embolization can effectively reduce the size of many AVMs. This case-control study did not show any statistically significant difference in the rates of embolization or complications after SRS in patients who had previously undergone Onyx embolization and those who had not.

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Zhiyuan Xu, Carissa Carlson, John Snell, Matt Eames, Arik Hananel, M. Beatriz Lopes, Prashant Raghavan, Cheng-Chia Lee, Chun-Po Yen, David Schlesinger, Neal F. Kassell, Jean-Francois Aubry and Jason Sheehan

OBJECT

In biological tissues, it is known that the creation of gas bubbles (cavitation) during ultrasound exposure is more likely to occur at lower rather than higher frequencies. Upon collapsing, such bubbles can induce hemorrhage. Thus, acoustic inertial cavitation secondary to a 220-kHz MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) surgery is a serious safety issue, and animal studies are mandatory for laying the groundwork for the use of low-frequency systems in future clinical trials. The authors investigate here the in vivo potential thresholds of MRgFUS-induced inertial cavitation and MRgFUS-induced thermal coagulation using MRI, acoustic spectroscopy, and histology.

METHODS

Ten female piglets that had undergone a craniectomy were sonicated using a 220-kHz transcranial MRgFUS system over an acoustic energy range of 5600–14,000 J. For each piglet, a long-duration sonication (40-second duration) was performed on the right thalamus, and a short sonication (20-second duration) was performed on the left thalamus. An acoustic power range of 140–300 W was used for long-duration sonications and 300–700 W for short-duration sonications. Signals collected by 2 passive cavitation detectors were stored in memory during each sonication, and any subsequent cavitation activity was integrated within the bandwidth of the detectors. Real-time 2D MR thermometry was performed during the sonications. T1-weighted, T2-weighted, gradient-recalled echo, and diffusion-weighted imaging MRI was performed after treatment to assess the lesions. The piglets were killed immediately after the last series of posttreatment MR images were obtained. Their brains were harvested, and histological examinations were then performed to further evaluate the lesions.

RESULTS

Two types of lesions were induced: thermal ablation lesions, as evidenced by an acute ischemic infarction on MRI and histology, and hemorrhagic lesions, associated with inertial cavitation. Passive cavitation signals exhibited 3 main patterns identified as follows: no cavitation, stable cavitation, and inertial cavitation. Low-power and longer sonications induced only thermal lesions, with a peak temperature threshold for lesioning of 53°C. Hemorrhagic lesions occurred only with high-power and shorter sonications. The sizes of the hemorrhages measured on macroscopic histological examinations correlated with the intensity of the cavitation activity (R2 = 0.74). The acoustic cavitation activity detected by the passive cavitation detectors exhibited a threshold of 0.09 V·Hz for the occurrence of hemorrhages.

CONCLUSIONS

This work demonstrates that 220-kHz ultrasound is capable of inducing a thermal lesion in the brain of living swines without hemorrhage. Although the same acoustic energy can induce either a hemorrhage or a thermal lesion, it seems that low-power, long-duration sonication is less likely to cause hemorrhage and may be safer. Although further study is needed to decrease the likelihood of ischemic infarction associated with the 220-kHz ultrasound, the threshold established in this work may allow for the detection and prevention of deleterious cavitations.

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Sheng-Tzung Tsai, Hsin-Chi Tsai, Chung-Chih Kuo, Hsiang-Yi Hung, Chien-Hui Lee and Shin-Yuan Chen

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Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger, Krisztina Moldovan, Colin Przybylowski, Xingwen Sun, Cheng-Chia Lee, Chun-Po Yen and Jason Sheehan

Object

The authors evaluate the impact of target location on the rate of pain relief (PR) in patients with intractable trigeminal neuralgia (TN) undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 99 patients with idiopathic TN who were identified from a prospectively maintained database and were treated with SRS targeting the dorsal root entry zone with a maximum dose of 80 Gy. Targeting of the more proximal portion of a trigeminal nerve with the 50% isodose line overlapping the brainstem was performed in 36 patients (proximal group). In a matched group, 63 patients received SRS targeting the 20% isodose line tangential to the emergence of the brainstem (distal group). The median follow-up time was 33 months (range 6–124 months).

Results

The actuarial rate of maintenance of Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) Pain Score I–IIIa was attained in 89% of patients at 1 year, 81% at 2 years, and 69% at 4 years, respectively, after SRS. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that durability of PR was only associated with the proximal location of the radiosurgical target (log-rank test, p = 0.018). Radiosurgery-induced facial numbness (BNI Score II or III) developed in 35 patients, which was significantly more frequent in the proximal group (19 patients [53%] compared with 16 [25%] in the distal group [p = 0.015]).

Conclusions

The radiosurgical target appears to affect the duration of pain relief in patients with idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia with the target closer to the brainstem affording extended pain relief. However, the proximal SRS target was also associated with an increased risk of mild to moderate facial numbness.

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Cheng-Chia Lee, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason Sheehan

Object

The use of radiosurgery has been well accepted for treating small to medium-size metastatic brain tumors (MBTs). However, its utility in treating large MBTs remains uncertain due to potentially unfavorable effects such as progressive perifocal brain edema and neurological deterioration. In this retrospective study the authors evaluated the local tumor control rate and analyzed possible factors affecting tumor and brain edema response.

Methods

The authors defined a large brain metastasis as one with a measurement of 3 cm or more in at least one of the 3 cardinal planes (coronal, axial, or sagittal). A consecutive series of 109 patients with 119 large intracranial metastatic lesions were treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) between October 2000 and December 2012; the median tumor volume was 16.8 cm3 (range 6.0–74.8 cm3). The pre-GKS Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score for these patients ranged from 70 to 100. The most common tumors of origin were non–small cell lung cancers (29.4% of cases in this series). Thirty-six patients (33.0%) had previously undergone a craniotomy (1–3 times) for tumor resection. Forty-three patients (39.4%) underwent whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) before GKS. Patients were treated with GKS and followed clinically and radiographically at 2- to 3-month intervals thereafter.

Results

The median duration of imaging follow-up after GKS for patients with large MBTs in this series was 6.3 months. In the first follow-up MRI studies (performed within 3 months after GKS), 77 lesions (64.7%) had regressed, 24 (20.2%) were stable, and 18 (15.1%) were found to have grown. Peritumoral brain edema as defined on T2-weighted MRI sequences had decreased in 79 lesions (66.4%), was stable in 21 (17.6%), but had progressed in 19 (16.0%). In the group of patients who survived longer than 6 months (76 patients with 77 MBTs), 88.3% of the MBTs (68 of 77 lesions) had regressed or remained stable at the most recent imaging follow-up, and 89.6% (69 of 77 lesions) showed regression of perifocal brain edema volume or stable condition. The median duration of survival after GKS was 8.3 months for patients with large MBTs. Patients with small cell lung cancer and no previous WBRT had a significantly higher tumor control rate as well as better brain edema relief. Patients with a single metastasis, better KPS scores, and no previous radiosurgery or WBRT were more likely to decrease corticosteroid use after GKS. On the other hand, higher pre-GKS KPS score was the only factor that showed a statistically significant association with longer survival.

Conclusions

Treating large MBTs using either microsurgery or radiosurgery is a challenge for neurosurgeons. In selected patients with large brain metastases, radiosurgery offered a reasonable local tumor control rate and favorable functional preservation. Exacerbation of underlying edema was rare in this case series. Far more commonly, edema and steroid use were lessened after radiosurgery. Radiosurgery appears to be a reasonable option for some patients with large MBTs.

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Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Douglas Kondziolka