Leksell Top 25 - Since 2005

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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.

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Yoshimasa Mori and Jun Yoshida

Object. Gamma knife surgery (GKS) has been a safe and effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas in both the short and long term, although less is known about long-term outcomes in the past 10 years. The aim of this study was to clarify long-term outcomes in patients with vestibular schwannomas treated using GKS based on techniques in place in the early 1990s.

Methods. Eighty patients harboring a vestibular schwannoma (excluding neurofibromatosis Type 2) were treated using GKS between May 1991 and December 1993. Among these, 73 patients were assessed; seven were lost to follow up. The median duration of follow up was 135 months. The mean patient age at the time of GKS was 56 years old. The mean tumor volume was 6.3 cm3, and the mean maximal and marginal radiation doses applied to the tumor were 28.4 and 14.6 Gy, respectively. Follow-up magnetic resonance images were obtained in 71 patients. Forty-eight patients demonstrated partial tumor remission, 14 had tumors that remained stable, and nine demonstrated tumor enlargement or radiation-induced edema requiring resection. Patients with larger tumors did not fare as well as those with smaller lesions. The actuarial 10-year progression-free survival rate was 87% overall, and 93% in patients with tumor volumes less than 10 cm3. No patient experienced malignant transformation.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery remained an effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas for longer than 10 years. Although treatment failures usually occurred within 3 years after GKS, it is necessary to continue follow up in patients to reveal delayed tumor recurrence.

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Berndt Wowra, Alexander Muacevic, Anja Jess-Hempen, John-Martin Hempel, Stefanie Müller-Schunk and Jörg-Christian Tonn

Object. The purpose of the study was to define the therapeutic profile of outpatient gamma knife surgery (GKS) for vestibular schwannoma (VS) by using sequential tumor volumetry to quantify changes following treatment.

Methods. A total of 111 patients met the inclusion criteria. The median follow-up duration was 7 years (range 5–9.6 years). Thirty-seven patients (33%) had undergone surgery before GKS and 10 (9%) had neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). The median VS volume was 1.6 cm3 (range 0.08–8.7 cm3).

The actuarial 6-year tumor control rate after a single GKS treatment was 95%. Tumor swelling was observed in 43 patients (38.7%). Recurrence was significantly associated with NF2 (p < 0.003) and the reduced dose (p < 0.03) delivered to these tumors. The incidence of facial nerve neuropathy was mainly determined by surgery prior to GKS (p < 0.0001). Facial nerve radiation toxicity was mild and transient. No permanent facial nerve toxicity was observed. Trigeminal neuropathy occurred in 13 patients, and this was correlated with the VS volume (p < 0.02). The median hearing loss was −10 dB (range + 20 dB to −70 dB). The risk of hearing loss was correlated with age and transient tumor swelling (p < 0.05) but not with dose parameters or NF2.

Conclusions. Outpatient GKS is feasible, effective, and safe. Its therapeutic profile compares favorably with that of microsurgery.

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Jason Sheehan, Douglas Kondziolka, John Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object. Lung carcinoma is the leading cause of death from cancer. More than 50% of those with small cell lung cancer develop a brain metastasis. Corticosteroid agents, radiotherapy, and resection have been the mainstays of treatment. Nonetheless, median survival for patients with small cell lung carcinoma metastasis is approximately 4 to 5 months after cranial irradiation. In this study the authors examine the efficacy of gamma knife surgery for treating recurrent small cell lung carcinoma metastases to the brain following tumor growth in patients who have previously undergone radiation therapy, and they evaluate factors affecting survival.

Methods. A retrospective review of 27 patients (47 recurrent small cell lung cancer brain metastases) undergoing radiosurgery was performed. Clinical and radiographic data obtained during a 14-year treatment period were collected. Multivariate analysis was utilized to determine significant prognostic factors influencing survival.

The overall median survival was 18 months after the diagnosis of brain metastases. In multivariate analysis, factors significantly affecting survival included: 1) tumor volume (p = 0.0042); 2) preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score (p = 0.0035); and 3) time between initial lung cancer diagnosis and development of brain metastasis (p = 0.0127). Postradiosurgical imaging of the brain metastases revealed that 62% decreased, 19% remained stable, and 19% eventually increased in size. One patient later underwent a craniotomy and tumor resection for a tumor refractory to radiosurgery and radiation therapy. In three patients new brain metastases were demonstrating on follow-up imaging.

Conclusions. Stereotactic radiosurgery for recurrent small cell lung carcinoma metastases provided effective local tumor control in the majority of patients. Early detection of brain metastases, aggressive treatment of systemic disease, and a therapeutic strategy including radiosurgery can extend survival.

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L. Dade Lunsford, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, Ann Maitz and Douglas Kondziolka

Object. Management options for vestibular schwannomas (VSs) have greatly expanded since the introduction of stereotactic radiosurgery. Optimal outcomes reflect long-term tumor control, preservation of cranial nerve function, and retention of quality of life. The authors review their 15-year experience.

Methods. Between 1987 and 2002, some 829 patients with VSs underwent gamma knife surgery (GKS). Dose selection, imaging, and dose planning techniques evolved between 1987 and 1992 but thereafter remained stable for 10 years. The average tumor volume was 2.5 cm3. The median margin dose to the tumor was 13 Gy (range 10–20 Gy).

No patient sustained significant perioperative morbidity. The average duration of hospital stay was less than 1 day. Unchanged hearing preservation was possible in 50 to 77% of patients (up to 90% in those with intracanalicular tumors). Facial neuropathy risks were reduced to less than 1%. Trigeminal symptoms were detected in less than 3% of patients whose tumors reached the level of the trigeminal nerve. Tumor control rates at 10 years were 97% (no additional treatment needed).

Conclusions. Superior imaging, multiple isocenter volumetric conformal dose planning, and optimal precision and dose delivery contributed to the long-term success of GKS, including in those patients in whom initial microsurgery had failed. Gamma knife surgery provides a low risk, minimally invasive treatment option for patients with newly diagnosed or residual VS. Cranial nerve preservation and quality of life maintenance are possible in long-term follow up.

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Dusan Urgosik, Roman Liscak, Josef Novotny Jr., Josef Vymazal and Vilibald Vladyka

Object. The authors present the long-term follow-up results (minimum 5 years) of patients with essential trigeminal neuralgia (TN) who were treated with gamma knife surgery (GKS).

Methods. One hundred seven patients (61 females and 46 males) underwent GKS. The median follow up was time was 60 months (range 12–96 months). The target was the trigeminal root, and the maximum dose was 70 to 80 Gy. Repeated GKS was performed in 19 patients for recurrent pain, and the same dose was used.

Initial successful results were achieved in 96% of patients, with complete pain relief in 80.4%. Relief was achieved after a median latency of 3 months (range 1 day–13 months). Gamma knife surgery failed in 4% of patients. Pain recurred in 25% of patients after a median latent interval of 36 months (6–94 months). The initial success rate after a second GKS was 89% and 58% of patients were pain free. Pain relapse occurred in only one patient in this group. Hypesthesia was observed in 20% of patients after the first GKS and in 32% after the second GKS. The median interval to hypaesthesia was 35 months (range 3–94 months) after one treatment and 21 months (range 1–72 months) after a second treatment.

Conclusions. The initial success rate of pain relief was high and comparable to that reported in other studies. A higher than usual incidence of sensory impairment after GKS could be the long duration of follow-up study and due to the detailed neurological examination.