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  • Author or Editor: Wei Liu x
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Kang-Du Liu, Wen-Yuh Chung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Ling-Wei Wang, Wan-You Guo and David Hung-Chi Pan

Object. The authors sought to determine the value of gamma knife surgery (GKS) in the treatment of cavernous hemangiomas (CHs).

Methods. Between 1993 and 2002, a total of 125 patients with symptomatic CHs were treated with GKS. Ninety-seven patients presented with bleeding and 45 of these had at least two bleeding episodes. Thirteen patients presented with seizures combined with hemorrhage, and 15 patients presented with seizures alone. The mean margin dose of radiation was 12.1 Gy and the mean follow-up time was 5.4 years.

In the 112 patients who had bled the number of rebleeds after GKS was 32. These rebleeds were defined both clinically and based on magnetic resonance imaging for an annual rebleeding rate of 32 episodes/492 patient-years or 6.5%. Twenty-three of the 32 rebleeding episodes occurred within 2 years after GKS. Nine episodes occurred after 2 years; thus, the annual rebleeding rate after GKS was 10.3% for the first 2 years and 3.3% thereafter (p = 0.0038). In the 45 patients with at least two bleeding episodes before GKS, the rebleeding rate dropped from 29.2% (55 episodes/188 patient-years) before treatment to 5% (10 episodes/197 patient-years) after treatment (p < 0.0001). Among the 28 patients who presented with seizures, 15 (53%) had good outcomes (Engel Grades I and II). In this study of 125 patients, symptomatic radiation-induced complications developed in only three patients.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery can effectively reduce the rebleeding rate after the first symptomatic hemorrhage in patients with CH. In addition, GKS may be useful in reducing the severity of seizures in patients with CH.

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Wen-Yuh Chung, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Kang-Du Liu, Wan-Yuo Guo, Ling-Wei Wang and David Hung-Chi Pan

Object

The effectiveness and safety of radiosurgery for small- to medium-sized cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have been well established. However, the management for large cerebral AVMs remains a great challenge to neurosurgeons. In the past 5 years the authors performed preplanned staged radiosurgery to treat extra-large cerebral AVMs.

Methods

An extra-large cerebral AVM is defined as one with nidus volume > 40 ml. The nidus volume of cerebral AVM is measured from the dose plan—that is, as being the volume contained within the best-fit prescription isodose. From January 2003 to December 2007, the authors treated 6 patients with extra-large AVMs by preplanned staged GKS. Staged radiosurgery is implemented by rigid transformation with translation and rotation of coordinates between 2 stages. The average radiation-targeted volume was 60 ml (range 47–72 ml). The presenting symptoms were seizure in 4 patients and a bleeding episode in 2. One patient had undergone a previous craniotomy and evacuation of hematoma. The mean interval between the 2 radiosurgical sessions was 6.9 months (range 4.5–9.1 months). The prescribed marginal dose given to the nidus volume in each stage ranged from 16 to 18.6 Gy. The expected marginal dose of total nidus was 17–19 Gy. Regular follow-up MR imaging was performed every 6 months. The mean follow-up period was 28 months (range 12–54 months).

Results

Most of the patients exhibited clinical improvement: relief of headache and reduced frequency of seizure attack. All patients had significant regression of nidus observed on MR imaging follow-up. Two patients had angiogram-confirmed complete obliteration of the nidus 45 and 60 months after the second-stage radiosurgical session. One patient experienced minor bleeding 8 months after the second-stage radiosurgery with mild headache. She had satisfactory recovery without clinical neurological deficit after conservative treatment.

Conclusions

These preliminary results indicate that staged radiosurgery is a practical strategy to treat patients with extra-large cerebral AVMs. It takes longer to obliterate the AVMs. The observed high signal T2 changes after the radiosurgery appeared clinically insignificant in 6 patients followed up for an average of 28 months. Longer follow-up is necessary to confirm its long-term safety.

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Hsiu-Mei Wu, David Hung-Chi Pan, Wen-Yuh Chung, Wan-Yuo Guo, Kang-Du Liu, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Ling-Wei Wang and Shih-Jen Chen

Object

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for the treatment of cavernous sinus dural arteriovenous fistulas (CSDAVFs) and other intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (ODAVFs).

Methods

Among the 238 GKS procedures performed for intracranial DAVFs in the authors' institute, 227 cases (146 CSDAVFs and 81 OIDAVFs) with clinical follow up formed the database from which the authors determined clinical outcome and the incidence of untoward events. One hundred ninety-five cases (118 CSDAVFs and 77 ODAVFs) with imaging follow up formed the database from which the authors determined the imaging results.

Older age, female sex, higher incidence of diabetes, and shorter duration of symptoms were noted more in cases of CSDAVF than in ODAVFs. Most patients had symptomatic improvement after GKS. A symptomatic cure was observed in one patient with CSDAVFs as early as 6 weeks. The cumulative cure rate based on follow-up angiography of CSDAVFs approached 75% at 24 months, which was much better than that of ODAVFs (approximately 50% at 24 months). A neuroimaging-based cure lagged behind that of the clinical symptoms. Overall, there were only two nonfatal intracerebral hemorrhages during the follow-up period, both occurring less than 1 week after GKS and both being Cognard Type IIa+b with initial aggressive symptoms. Transient deterioration of neurological status without hemorrhage was noted in six patients with ODAVFs. Thrombosis of the superior ophthalmic vein occurred in 11 patients with CSDAVFs, in two of whom there were unilateral visual impairments. There were three cranial nerve neuropathies: transient in one CSDAVF and one ODAVF involving the jugular foramen, and another one was a CSDAVF previously treated by conventional radiotherapy.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery provides a safe and effective option for treatment of intracranial DAVFs with a low risk of complications. In cases of DAVFs with benign clinical presentation, GKS can serve as a primary treatment. In some cases of aggressive DAVFs in which there is extensive retrograde cortical vein drainage, combined treatment with embolization or surgery is suggested.

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Ling-Wei Wang, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Wen-Yuh Chung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wan-Yuo Guo, Kang-Du Liu, Donald Ming-tak Ho, Tai-Tong Wong and David Hung-Chi Pan

Object

The authors report the long-term treatment results of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for patients with low-grade astrocytomas who underwent surgery at a single institution.

Methods

A series of 21 patients (median age 20 years) with 25 intracranial low-grade astrocytomas (World Health Organization Grades I and II) were treated with GKS between 1993 and 2003. Among them, four underwent GKS as a primary treatment. Two underwent GKS as a treatment boost after radiotherapy. In the other 15 patients, GKS was performed as an adjuvant or salvage treatment for residual/recurrent tumors after the patients had undergone craniotomy. Tumor volumes ranged from 0.2 to 13.3 ml (median 2.4 ml). Prescription margin doses ranged from 8 to 18 Gy (median 14.5 Gy). Radiation volumes were 1.3 to 21.6 ml (median 3.6 ml). Patients underwent regular follow up, with neurological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging studies obtained at 6-month intervals.

One patient was lost to follow-up. The clinical follow-up time was 5 to 144 months (median 67 months). Complete tumor remission was seen in three patients. The 10-year progression-free patient survival rate after GKS was 65%. Tumor progression was found in six patients of whom five received further salvage treatment. All the tumor progression occurred within the GKS-treated volumes. Mild-to-moderate adverse radiation effects (AREs) were found in eight patients. Both of the patients who had undergone GKS as a treatment boost after radiotherapy developed AREs, but with good shrinkage of tumors.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery provides durable long-term local tumor control with acceptable toxicity for some patients with highly selected low-grade astrocytomas.

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Wen-Yuh Chung, Kang-Du Liu, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Ling-Wei Wang, Wan-Yuo Guo, Donald Ming-Tak Ho and David Hung-Chi Pan

Object. The authors conducted a study to determine the optimal radiation dose for vestibular schwannoma (VS) and to examine the histopathology in cases of treatment failure for better understanding of the effects of irradiation.

Methods. A retrospective study was performed of 195 patients with VS; there were 113 female and 82 male patients whose mean age was 51 years (range 11–82 years). Seventy-two patients (37%) had undergone partial or total excision of their tumor prior to gamma knife surgery (GKS). The mean tumor volume was 4.1 cm3 (range 0.04–23.1 cm3). Multiisocenter dose planning placed a prescription dose of 11 to 18.2 Gy on the 50 to 94% isodose located at the tumor margin. Clinical and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging follow-up evaluations were performed every 6 months.

A loss of central enhancement was demonstrated on MR imaging in 69.5% of the patients. At the latest MR imaging assessment decreased or stable tumor volume was demonstrated in 93.6% of the patients. During a median follow-up period of 31 months resection was avoided in 96.8% of cases. Uncontrolled tumor swelling was noted in five patients at 3.5, 17, 24, 33, and 62 months after GKS, respectively. Twelve of 20 patients retained serviceable hearing. Two patients experienced a temporary facial palsy. Two patients developed a new trigeminal neuralgia. There was no treatment-related death. Histopathological examination of specimens in three cases (one at 62 months after GKS) revealed a long-lasting radiation effect on vessels inside the tumor.

Conclusions. Radiosurgery had a long-term radiation effect on VSs for up to 5 years. A margin 12-Gy dose with homogeneous distribution is effective in preventing tumor progression, while posing no serious threat to normal cranial nerve function.

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David Hung-Chi Pan, Yu-Hung Kuo, Wan-Yuo Guo, Wen-Yuh Chung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Kang-Du Liu, Yue-Cune Chang, Ling-Wei Wang and Tai-Tong Wong

Object

Studies on the efficacy of arteriovenous malformation (AVM) radiosurgery have largely been conducted in the adult population. Clinically, the results may not always be applicable to pediatric patients. Moreover, studies involving the pediatric population have largely comprised small- (< 3 cm3) and medium-sized (3–10 cm3) AVMs. For large (> 10 cm3) AVMs in children, sparse radiosurgical results are available. The current study was conducted to further clarify the role of radiosurgery in the treatment of pediatric AVMs.

Methods

A retrospective analysis was performed of data obtained in 105 pediatric patients (< 18 years of age) with cerebral AVMs treated by Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) between 1993 and 2006. For statistical comparison the authors studied data acquired in 458 adult patients with AVMs treated during the same period. The patients underwent follow-up magnetic resonance imaging at 6-month intervals. Cerebral angiography was used to confirm the obliteration of the AVM.

Results

In pediatric patients, the AVM obliteration rate at 48 months after a primary GKS was 65%. Repeated GKS in those in whom primary treatments failed further ablated some AVMs, for an overall obliteration rate of 81%. The efficacy of GKS correlated with the size of the AVM: 91% for small, 86% for medium, and 64% for large AVMs. The treatments were associated with an 8% morbidity rate and < 1% mortality rate. Posttreatment hemorrhage occurred in 4 (4%) of 105 patients. Obliteration rates at 48 months of small and extremely large (> 20 cm3) AVMs were similar in the pediatric and adult groups, whereas AVMs between 3 and 10 cm3 responded less efficaciously in children (p = 0.042). The AVMs with volumes ranging from 10 to 20 cm3 were also associated with a lower obliteration rate in children at 48 months, but statistical significance was not reached (p = 0.279).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is an effective and safe treatment alternative for pediatric AVMs. The medium (3–10-cm3) and large (10–20-cm3) AVMs tend to respond less efficaciously than those of comparable size in adults.

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Dennis R. Buis and W. Peter Vandertop