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Jean Régis, Philippe Metellus, Motohiro Hayashi, Philippe Roussel, Anne Donnet and Françoise Bille-Turc

Object

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an alternative to conventional surgery for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. The authors conducted a prospective evaluation of the safety and efficacy of this method in a large series of patients.

Methods

A total of 100 patients presenting with trigeminal neuralgia were treated and followed up for a minimum of 12 months. The mean age was 68.2 years; 54 patients were male, and 46 were female. Seven had a history of multiple sclerosis, and 42 had already received conventional surgical treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. The intervention consisted of gamma knife surgery to the retrogasserian cisternal portion of the fifth cranial nerve. The median dose used at the maximum was 85 Gy (range 70–90 Gy). The number and intensity of pain attacks were recorded by the patient from 3 months before radiosurgery to a minimum of 12 months after treatment. Before and a minimum of 12 months after treatment, the patient completed a quality-of-life questionnaire. Neurological examination and quantitative sensory testing to evaluate sensory perception were performed by an independent neurologist over this same time period.

At the last visit 83 of 100 patients were reported to be pain free. Fifty-eight of these 83 patients had stopped taking medication during the study. All quality-of-life parameters were improved (p < 0.001). Six patients reported facial paresthesia, and four patients reported hypesthesia. These symptoms were classified as mild. None of the complications reported for other techniques were observed.

Conclusions

Radiosurgery is a safe and effective alternative treatment for trigeminal neuralgia and is associated with a particularly low rate of hypesthesia.

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Masahiro Izawa, Motohiro Hayashi, Mikhail Chernov, Koutarou Nakaya, Taku Ochiai, Noriko Murata, Yuichi Takasu, Osami Kubo, Tomokatsu Hori and Kintomo Takakura

Object. The authors analyzed of the long-term complications that occur 2 or more years after gamma knife surgery (GKS) for intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Methods. Patients with previously untreated intracranial AVMs that were managed by GKS and followed for at least 2 years after treatment were selected for analysis (237 cases). Complete AVM obliteration was attained in 130 cases (54.9%), and incomplete obliteration in 107 cases (45.1%). Long-term complications were observed in 22 patients (9.3%). These complications included hemorrhage (eight cases), delayed cyst formation (eight cases), increase of seizure frequency (four cases), and middle cerebral artery stenosis and increased white matter signal intensity on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (one case of each). The long-term complications were associated with larger nidus volume (p < 0.001) and a lobar location of the AVM (p < 0.01). Delayed hemorrhage was associated only with incomplete obliteration of the nidus (p < 0.05). Partial obliteration conveyed no benefit. Delayed cyst formation was associated with a higher maximal GKS dose (p < 0.001), larger nidus volume (p < 0.001), complete nidus obliteration (p < 0.01), and a lobar location of the AVM (p < 0.05).

Conclusions. Incomplete obliteration of the nidus is the most important factor associated with delayed hemorrhagic complications. Partial obliteration does not seem to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. Complete obliteration can be complicated by delayed cyst formation, especially if high maximal treatment doses have been administered.