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Yi-Chieh Hung, Cheng-Chia Lee, Kang-Du Liu, Wen-Yuh Chung, David Hung-Chi Pan and Huai-Che Yang

Object

The authors evaluated individual anatomical variations in the trigeminal nerves of patients with medically intractable trigeminal neuralgia and clarified the relationships among the variations, radiosurgical target locations, and the clinical outcomes after high-dose Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

From 2006 through 2011, the authors conducted a retrospective review of 106 cases of primary or secondary trigeminal neuralgia consecutively treated with GKS targeting the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) for which a maximal dose of 90 Gy and a 20% isodose line to the brainstem were used. A questionnaire was used to evaluate patients' pre- and post-GKS clinical conditions. To evaluate individual anatomical variations among trigeminal nerves, the authors used 3 parameters: the length of the trigeminal nerve in the cistern (nerve length), the length of the target between the radiation shot and the brainstem (targeting length), and the ratio between nerve length and targeting length (targeting ratio).

Results

The median length of the trigeminal nerves in the 106 patients was 9.6 mm (range 6.04−20.74 mm), the median targeting length was 3.8 mm (range 1.81−10.84 mm), and the median targeting ratio was 38% (range 13%− 80%). No statistically significant differences in pain relief and pain recurrence were detected among patients with these various nerve characteristics. However, radiation-induced facial hypesthesia correlated with nerve length and targeting ratio (p < 0.05) but not with absolute distance from the brainstem (targeting length).

Conclusions

In trigeminal neuralgia patients who received DREZ-targeted GKS, the rate of pain relief did not differ according to anatomical nerve variations. However, the frequency of facial hypesthesia was higher among patients in whom the nerve was longer (> 11 mm) or the targeting ratio was lower (< 36%). Adjusting the target according to the targeting ratio, especially for patients with longer nerves, can reduce facial hypesthesia and enable maintenance of effective pain control.

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Chia-An Wu, Huai-Che Yang, Yong-Sin Hu, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Chung-Jung Lin, Chao-Bao Luo, Wan-Yuo Guo, Cheng-Chia Lee, Kang-Du Liu and Wen-Yuh Chung

OBJECTIVE

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) obliterates 65%–87% of cavernous sinus dural arteriovenous fistulas (CSDAVFs). However, the hemodynamic effect on GKS outcomes is relatively unknown. The authors thus used the classification scheme developed by Suh et al. to explore this effect.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively (1993–2016) included 123 patients with CSDAVFs who received GKS alone at the institute and classified them as proliferative type (PT; n = 23), restrictive type (RT; n = 61), or late restrictive type (LRT; n = 39) after analyzing their pre-GKS angiography images. Treatment parameters, the presence of numerous arterial feeders, and venous drainage numbers were compared across the CSDAVF types. Patients’ follow-up MR images were evaluated for the presence of complete obliteration. A Kaplan-Meier analysis was conducted to determine the correlation between CSDAVF types and outcomes.

RESULTS

The 36-month probability of complete obliteration was 74.3% for all patients, with no significant differences across types (p = 0.56). PT had the largest radiation volume (6.5 cm3, p < 0.001), the most isocenters (5, p = 0.015) and venous drainage routes (3, p < 0.001), and the lowest peripheral dose (16.6 Gy, p = 0.011) and isodose level coverage (64.3%, p = 0.006). CSDAVFs presenting with ocular patterns were less likely to be completely obliterated (hazard ratio 0.531, p = 0.009). After adjustment for age, CSDAVFs with more venous drainage routes were less likely to be completely obliterated (hazard ratio 0.784, p = 0.039).

CONCLUSIONS

GKS is an equally effective treatment option for all 3 CSDAVF types. Furthermore, the number of venous drainage routes may help in predicting treatment outcomes and making therapeutic decisions.

Free access

Cheng-Chia Lee, David Hung-Chi Pan, Wen-Yuh Chung, Kang-Du Liu, Huai-Che Yang, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wan-Yuo Guo and Yang-Hsin Shih

Object

The authors retrospectively reviewed the efficacy and safety of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients with brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs). The CMs had bled repeatedly and placed the patients at high risk with respect to surgical intervention.

Methods

Between 1993 and 2010, 49 patients with symptomatic CMs were treated by GKS. The mean age in these patients was 37.8 years, and the predominant sex was female (59.2%). All 49 patients experienced at least 2 instances of repeated bleeding before GKS; these hemorrhages caused neurological deficits including cranial nerve deficits, hemiparesis, hemisensory deficits, spasticity, chorea or athetosis, and consciousness disturbance.

Results

The mean size of the CMs at the time of GKS was 3.2 cm3 (range 0.1–14.6 cm3). The mean radiation dose directed to the lesion was 11 Gy with an isodose level at 60.0%. The mean clinical and imaging follow-up time was 40.6 months (range 1.0–150.7 months). Forty-five patients participated in regularly scheduled follow-up. Twenty-nine patients (59.2%) were followed up for > 2 years, and 16 (32.7%) were followed up for < 2 years. The pre-GKS annual hemorrhage rate was 31.3% (69 symptomatic hemorrhages during a total of 220.3 patient-years). After GKS, 3 episodes of symptomatic hemorrhage were observed within the first 2 years of follow-up (4.29% annual hemorrhage rate), and 3 episodes of symptomatic hemorrhage were observed after the first 2 years of follow-up (3.64% annual hemorrhage rate). In this study of 49 patients, symptomatic radiation-induced complications developed in only 2 patients (4.1%; cyst formation in 1 patient and perifocal edema with neurological deficits in the other patient). There were no deaths in this group.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is effective in reducing the rate of recurrent hemorrhage. In the authors' experience, it was possible to control bleeding using a low-dose treatment. In addition, there were few symptomatic radiation-induced complications. As a result, the authors believe that GKS is a good alternative treatment for brainstem CMs.

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Chih-Chun Wu, Wan-Yuo Guo, Wen-Yuh Chung, Hisu-Mei Wu, Chung-Jung Lin, Cheng-Chia Lee, Kang-Du Liu and Huai-che Yang

OBJECTIVE

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is a promising treatment modality for patients with vestibular schwannomas (VSs), but a small percentage of patients have persistent postradiosurgical tumor growth. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical and quantitative MRI features of VS as predictors of long-term tumor control after GKS.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective study of all patients with VS treated with GKS using the Leksell Gamma Knife Unit between 2005 and 2013 at their institution. A total of 187 patients who had a minimum of 24 months of clinical and radiological assessment after radiosurgery were included in this study. Those who underwent a craniotomy with tumor removal before and after GKS were excluded. Study patients comprised 85 (45.5%) males and 102 (54.5%) females, with a median age of 52.2 years (range 20.4–82.3 years). Tumor volumes, enhancing patterns, and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were measured by region of interest (ROI) analysis of the whole tumor by serial MRI before and after GKS.

RESULTS

The median follow-up period was 60.8 months (range 24–128.9 months), and the median treated tumor volume was 3.54 cm3 (0.1–16.2 cm3). At last follow-up, imaging studies indicated that 150 tumors (80.2%) showed decreased tumor volume, 20 (10.7%) had stabilized, and 17 (9.1%) continued to grow following radiosurgery. The postradiosurgical outcome was not significantly correlated with pretreatment volumes or postradiosurgical enhancing patterns. Tumors that showed regression within the initial 12 months following radiosurgery were more likely to have a larger volume reduction ratio at last follow-up than those that did not (volume reduction ratio 55% vs 23.6%, respectively; p < 0.001). Compared with solid VSs, cystic VSs were more likely to regress or stabilize in the initial postradiosurgical 6–12-month period and during extended follow-up. Cystic VSs exhibited a greater volume reduction ratio at last follow-up (cystic vs solid: 67.6% ± 24.1% vs 31.8% ± 51.9%; p < 0.001). The mean preradiosurgical maximum ADC (ADCmax) values of all VSs were significantly higher for those with tumor regression or stabilization at last follow-up compared with those with progression (2.391 vs 1.826 × 10−3 mm2/sec; p = 0.010).

CONCLUSIONS

Loss of central enhancement after radiosurgery was a common phenomenon, but it did not correlate with tumor volume outcome. Preradiosurgical MRI features including cystic components and ADCmax values can be helpful as predictors of treatment outcome.

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Cheng-Chia Lee, Jason P. Sheehan, Hideyuki Kano, Berkcan Akpinar, Roberto Martinez-Alvarez, Nuria Martinez-Moreno, Wan-Yuo Guo, L. Dade Lunsford and Kang-Du Liu

OBJECTIVE

Cavernous sinus hemangiomas (CSHs) are rare vascular tumors. A direct microsurgical approach usually results in massive hemorrhage and incomplete tumor resection. Although stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has emerged as a therapeutic alternative to microsurgery, outcome studies are few. Authors of the present study evaluated the role of SRS for CSH.

METHODS

An international multicenter study was conducted to review outcome data in 31 patients with CSH. Eleven patients had initial microsurgery before SRS, and the other 20 patients (64.5%) underwent Gamma Knife SRS as the primary management for their CSH. Median age at the time of radiosurgery was 47 years, and 77.4% of patients had cranial nerve dysfunction before SRS. Patients received a median tumor margin dose of 12.6 Gy (range 12–19 Gy) at a median isodose of 55%.

RESULTS

Tumor regression was confirmed by imaging in all 31 patients, and all patients had greater than 50% reduction in tumor volume at 6 months post-SRS. No patient had delayed tumor growth, new cranial neuropathy, visual function deterioration, adverse radiation effects, or hypopituitarism after SRS. Twenty-four patients had presented with cranial nerve disorders before SRS, and 6 (25%) of them had gradual improvement. Four (66.7%) of the 6 patients with orbital symptoms had symptomatic relief at the last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery was effective in reducing the volume of CSH and attaining long-term tumor control in all patients at a median of 40 months. The authors' experience suggests that SRS is a reasonable primary and adjuvant treatment modality for patients in whom a CSH is diagnosed.

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Wen-Yuh Chung, David Hung-Chi Pan, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Kang-Du Liu, Yu-Shu Yen, Wan-Yuo Guo, Cheng-Ying Shiau and Yang-Hsin Shih

Object

Although radiosurgery has been well accepted as a treatment for small- to medium-sized vestibular schwannomas (VSs), its application in the treatment of large VSs remains controversial because of unfavorable effects such as tumor swelling and potential compression of the brainstem. The authors present a retrospective study spanning 17 years, during which 21 patients underwent Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for large VSs. Long-term outcomes are reported, and possible factors affecting tumor responses to GKS are analyzed.

Methods

Five hundred thirteen patients harboring VSs underwent GKS between March 1993 and October 2009. A large VS was defined as a tumor whose diameter was > 3 cm. This paper focuses on 21 patients who harbored large VSs ranging in volume from 12.7 to 25.2 cm3 (mean 17.3 cm3) and were treated by GKS. Fourteen of these patients had undergone 1 or more craniotomies previously to remove the tumor. Seven patients underwent GKS alone because of patient preference or a poor clinical condition that precluded microsurgery with general anesthesia. The mean radiation dose directed to the tumor ranged from 15 to 17.5 Gy. The mean radiation dose prescribed to the tumor margin was 11.9 Gy (range 11–14 Gy). The mean follow-up period was 66 months (range 12–155 months), and the median follow-up period was 53 months.

Results

The tumor control rate was 90.5% (19 of 21 lesions). No deterioration in facial nerve or trigeminal nerve function was noted. Disturbances in balance (some temporary) occurred in 5 patients. Three of the 21 patients developed initial tumor swelling, which required minor surgical interventions, including aspiration using an Ommaya reservoir or placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. All 3 patients recovered satisfactorily after aspiration of an enlarging cyst or ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. There was no significant correlation between tumor control and the following factors: patient age or sex, tumor volume, radiation dose, previous operation, presence of brainstem compression, petrous bone invasion, T2 signal ratio between tumor and brainstem, and presence of a cyst. However, there was a significant correlation between the T2 signal ratio between tumor and brainstem and the duration of tumor swelling (p = 0.003).

Conclusions

Treatment of large VSs remains a challenge to neurosurgeons regardless of whether they perform microsurgery or radiosurgery. Control of tumor growth and preservation of neurological function are the main goals of treatment. Although delayed microsurgery was required in 2 patients (9.5%), the satisfactory tumor control rate and excellent preservation of facial and trigeminal nerve function are the great advantages of radiosurgery. Radiosurgery is not only a practical treatment for patients with small- to medium-sized VSs, but it is also an excellent tool for treating larger tumors up to 25 cm3. In selected cases, radiosurgery plays an important role in treating large VSs with satisfactory results.

Free access

Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-Che Yang, Ching-Jen Chen, Yi-Chieh Hung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Wan-Yuo Guo, David Hung-Chi Pan, Wen-Yuh Chung and Kang-Du Liu

Object

Although craniopharyngiomas are benign intracranial tumors, their high recurrence rates and intimate associations with surrounding neurovascular structures make gross tumor resection challenging. Stereotactic radiosurgery has been introduced as a valuable adjuvant therapy for recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas. However, studies with large patient populations documenting long-term survival and progression-free survival rates are rare in the literature. The current study aims to report the long-term radiosurgical results and to define the prognostic factors in a large cohort of patients with a craniopharyngioma.

Methods

A total of 137 consecutive patients who underwent 162 sessions of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) treatments at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital between 1993 and 2012 were analyzed. The patients' median age was 30.1 years (range 1.5–84.9 years), and the median tumor volume was 5.5 ml (range 0.2–28.4 ml). There were 23 solid (16.8%), 23 cystic (16.8%), and 91 mixed solid and cystic (66.4%) craniopharyngiomas. GKS was indicated for residual or recurrent craniopharyngiomas. The median radiation dose was 12 Gy (range 9.5–16.0 Gy) at a median isodose line of 55% (range 50%–78%).

Results

At a median imaging follow-up of 45.7 months after GKS, the rates of tumor control were 72.7%, 73.9%, and 66.3% for the solid, cystic, and mixed tumors, respectively. The actuarial progression-free survival rates plotted by the Kaplan-Meier method were 70.0% and 43.8% at 5 and 10 years after radiosurgery, respectively. After repeated GKS, the actuarial progression-free survival rates were increased to 77.3% and 61.2% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. The overall survival rates were 91.5% and 83.9% at the 5- and 10-year follow-ups, respectively. Successful GKS treatment can be predicted by tumor volume (p = 0.011). Among the 137 patients who had clinical follow-up, new-onset or worsened pituitary deficiencies were detected in 11 patients (8.0%). Two patients without tumor growth had a worsened visual field, and 1 patient had a new onset of third cranial nerve palsy.

Conclusions

The current study suggests that GKS is a relatively safe modality for the treatment of recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas, and it is associated with improved tumor control and reduced in-field recurrence rates. Acceptable rates of complications occurred.