✓Late cerebral radiation necrosis usually occurs within 3 years of stereotactic radiosurgery. The authors report on a case of recurrent radiation necrosis with rapid clinical deterioration and imaging findings resembling those of a malignant glioma. This 68-year-old man, who had a history of a left posterior temporal and thalamic arteriovenous malformation (AVM) treated with linear accelerator radiosurgery 13 years before presentation and complicated by radiation necrosis 11 years before presentation, exhibited new-onset mixed aphasia, right hemiparesis, and right hemineglect. Imaging studies demonstrated hemorrhage and an enlarging, heterogeneously enhancing mass in the region of the previously treated AVM. The patient was treated medically with corticosteroid agents, and stabilized temporarily. Unfortunately, his condition worsened precipitously soon thereafter, requiring the placement of a shunt for relief of obstructive hydrocephalus. Further surgical intervention was offered, but the patient’s family opted for hospice care instead. The patient died 10 weeks after initially presenting to the authors’ institution, and the results of an autopsy demonstrated radiation necrosis.
Symptomatic radiation necrosis can occur more than a decade after stereotactic radiosurgery, necessitating patient follow up during a longer period of time than currently practiced. Furthermore, there is a need for more careful reporting on the natural history of such cases to clarify the pathogenesis of very late and recurrent radiation necrosis after radiosurgery and to define patient groups with a higher risk for these entities.