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Erin S. Murphy, Shireen Parsai, Hideyuki Kano, Jason P. Sheehan, Roberto Martinez-Alvarez, Nuria Martinez-Moreno, Douglas Kondziolka, Gabriela Simonova, Roman Liscak, David Mathieu, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-Che Yang, John Y. Lee, Brendan J. McShane, Fang Fang, Daniel M. Trifiletti, Mayur Sharma and Gene H. Barnett

OBJECTIVE

The current standard initial therapy for pilocytic astrocytoma is maximal safe resection. Radiation therapy is considered for residual, recurrent, or unresectable pilocytic astrocytomas. However, the optimal radiation strategy has not yet been established. Here, the authors describe the outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for pilocytic astrocytoma in a large multiinstitutional cohort.

METHODS

An institutional review board–approved multiinstitutional database of patients treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) between 1990 and 2016 was queried. Data were gathered from 9 participating International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF) centers. Patients with a histological diagnosis of pilocytic astrocytoma treated using a single session of GKRS and with at least 6 months of follow-up were included in the analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 141 patients were analyzed in the study. The median patient age was 14 years (range 2–84 years) at the time of GKRS. The median follow-up was 67.3 months. Thirty-nine percent of patients underwent SRS as the initial therapy, whereas 61% underwent SRS as salvage treatment. The median tumor volume was 3.45 cm3. The tumor location was the brainstem in 30% of cases, with a nonbrainstem location in the remainder. Five- and 10-year overall survival rates at the last follow-up were 95.7% and 92.5%, respectively. Five- and 10-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 74.0% and 69.7%, respectively. On univariate analysis, an age < 18 years, tumor volumes < 4.5 cm3, and no prior radiotherapy or chemotherapy were identified as positive prognostic factors for improved PFS. On multivariate analysis, only prior radiotherapy was significant for worse PFS.

CONCLUSIONS

This represents the largest study of single-session GKRS for pilocytic astrocytoma to date. Favorable long-term PFS and overall survival were observed with GKRS. Further prospective studies should be performed to evaluate appropriate radiosurgery dosing, timing, and sequencing of treatment along with their impact on toxicity and the quality of life of patients with pilocytic astrocytoma.

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Amitabh Gupta, Zhiyuan Xu, Hideyuki Kano, Nathaniel Sisterson, Yan-Hua Su, Michal Krsek, Ahmed M. Nabeel, Amr El-Shehaby, Khaled A. Karim, Nuria Martínez-Moreno, David Mathieu, Brendan J. McShane, Roberto Martínez-Álvarez, Wael A. Reda, Roman Liscak, Cheng-Chia Lee, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) is typically used after failed resection in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD) and acromegaly. Little is known about the upfront role of GKS for patients with CD and acromegaly. In this study, the authors examine the outcome of upfront GKS for patients with these functioning adenomas.

METHODS

An international group of 7 Gamma Knife centers sent pooled data from 46 patients (21 with CD and 25 with acromegaly) undergoing upfront GKS to the coordinating center of the study for analysis. Diagnosis was established on the basis of clinical, endocrine, and radiological studies. All patients were treated on a common radiosurgical platform and longitudinally followed for tumor control, endocrine remission, and hypopituitarism. Patients received a tumor median margin dose of 25 Gy (range 12–40.0 Gy) at a median isodose of 50%.

RESULTS

The median endocrine follow-up was 69.5 months (range 9–246 months). Endocrine remission was achieved in 51% of the entire cohort, with 28% remission in acromegaly and 81% remission for those with CD at the 5-year interval. Patients with CD achieved remission earlier as compared to those with acromegaly (p = 0.0005). In patients post-GKS, the pituitary adenoma remained stable (39%) or reduced (61%) in size. Hypopituitarism occurred in 9 patients (19.6%), and 1 (2.2%) developed third cranial nerve (CN III) palsy. Eight patients needed further intervention, including repeat GKS in 6 and transsphenoidal surgery in 2.

CONCLUSIONS

Upfront GKS resulted in good tumor control as well as a low rate of adverse radiation effects in the whole group. Patients with CD achieved a faster and far better remission rate after upfront GKS in comparison to patients with acromegaly. GKS can be considered as an upfront treatment in carefully selected patients with CD who are unwilling or unable to undergo resection, but it has a more limited role in acromegaly.

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Mohana Rao Patibandla, Dale Ding, Hideyuki Kano, Zhiyuan Xu, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, Jamie Whitesell, John T. Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Due to the complexity of Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade IV–V arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the management of these lesions remains controversial. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study were to evaluate the outcomes after single-session stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for SM Grade IV–V AVMs and determine predictive factors.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively pooled data from 233 patients (mean age 33 years) with SM Grade IV (94.4%) or V AVMs (5.6%) treated with single-session SRS at 8 participating centers in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Pre-SRS embolization was performed in 71 AVMs (30.5%). The mean nidus volume, SRS margin dose, and follow-up duration were 9.7 cm3, 17.3 Gy, and 84.5 months, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed to identify factors associated with post-SRS outcomes.

RESULTS

At a mean follow-up interval of 84.5 months, favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RIC) and was achieved in 26.2% of patients. The actuarial obliteration rates at 3, 7, 10, and 12 years were 15%, 34%, 37%, and 42%, respectively. The annual post-SRS hemorrhage rate was 3.0%. Symptomatic and permanent RIC occurred in 10.7% and 4% of the patients, respectively. Only larger AVM diameter (p = 0.04) was found to be an independent predictor of unfavorable outcome in the multivariate logistic regression analysis. The rate of favorable outcome was significantly lower for unruptured SM Grade IV–V AVMs compared with ruptured ones (p = 0.042). Prior embolization was a negative independent predictor of AVM obliteration (p = 0.024) and radiologically evident RIC (p = 0.05) in the respective multivariate analyses.

CONCLUSIONS

In this multi-institutional study, single-session SRS had limited efficacy in the management of SM Grade IV–V AVMs. Favorable outcome was only achieved in a minority of unruptured SM Grade IV–V AVMs, which supports less frequent utilization of SRS for the management of these lesions. A volume-staged SRS approach for large AVMs represents an alternative approach for high-grade AVMs, but it requires further investigation.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Hideyuki Kano, Zhiyuan Xu, Veronica Chiang, David Mathieu, Samuel Chao, Berkcan Akpinar, John Y.K. Lee, James B. Yu, Judith Hess, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wen-Yuh Chung, John Pierce, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Michelle Alonso-Basanta, Gene H. Barnett and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

Facial nerve schwannomas (FNSs) are rare intracranial tumors, and the optimal management of these tumors remains unclear. Resection can be undertaken, but the tumor’s intimate association with the facial nerve makes resection with neurological preservation quite challenging. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used to treat FNSs, and this study evaluates the outcome of this approach.

METHODS

At 8 medical centers participating in the North American Gamma Knife Consortium (NAGKC), 42 patients undergoing SRS for an FNS were identified, and clinical and radiographic data were obtained for these cases. Males outnumbered females at a ratio of 1.2:1, and the patients’ median age was 48 years (range 11–76 years). Prior resection was performed in 36% of cases. The mean tumor volume was 1.8 cm3, and a mean margin dose of 12.5 Gy (range 11–15 Gy) was delivered to the tumor.

RESULTS

At a median follow-up of 28 months, tumor control was achieved in 36 (90%) of the 40 patients with reliable radiographic follow-up. Actuarial tumor control was 97%, 97%, 97%, and 90% at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years postradiosurgery. Preoperative facial nerve function was preserved in 38 of 42 patients, with 60% of evaluable patients having House-Brackmann scores of 1 or 2 at last follow-up. Treated patients with a House-Brackmann score of 1 to 3 were more likely to demonstrate this level of facial nerve function at last evaluation (OR 6.09, 95% CI 1.7–22.0, p = 0.006). Avoidance of temporary or permanent neurological symptoms was more likely to be achieved in patients who received a tumor margin dose of 12.5 Gy or less (log-rank test, p = 0.024) delivered to a tumor of ≤ 1 cm3 in volume (log-rank test, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery resulted in tumor control and neurological preservation in most FNS patients. When the tumor is smaller and the patient exhibits favorable normal facial nerve function, SRS portends a better result. The authors believe that early, upfront SRS may be the treatment of choice for small FNSs, but it is an effective salvage treatment for residual/recurrent tumor that remain or progress after resection.

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Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, John Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Because of the angioarchitectural diversity of Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade III arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the management of these lesions is incompletely defined. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study were to evaluate the outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for SM Grade III AVMs and to determine the factors predicting these outcomes.

METHODS

The authors analyzed and pooled data from patients with SM Grade III AVMs treated with SRS at 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients with these AVMs and a minimum follow-up length of 12 months were included in the study cohort. An optimal outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs). Data were analyzed by univariate and multivariate regression analyses.

RESULTS

The SM Grade III AVM cohort comprised 891 patients with a mean age of 34 years at the time of SRS. The mean nidus volume, radiosurgical margin dose, and follow-up length were 4.5 cm3, 20 Gy, and 89 months, respectively. The actuarial obliteration rates at 5 and 10 years were 63% and 78%, respectively. The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.2%. Symptomatic and permanent RICs were observed in 11% and 4% of the patients, respectively. Optimal outcome was achieved in 56% of the patients and was significantly more frequent in cases of unruptured AVMs (OR 2.3, p < 0.001). The lack of a previous hemorrhage (p = 0.037), absence of previous AVM embolization (p = 0.002), smaller nidus volume (p = 0.014), absence of AVM-associated arterial aneurysms (p = 0.023), and higher margin dose (p < 0.001) were statistically significant independent predictors of optimal outcome in a multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery provided better outcomes for patients with small, unruptured SM Grade III AVMs than for large or ruptured SM Grade III nidi. A prospective trial or registry that facilitates a comparison of SRS with conservative AVM management might further clarify the authors' observations for these often high-risk AVMs.

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Rebecca M. Burke, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Thomas J. Buell, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Kathryn N. Kearns, Shih-Wei Tzeng, Huai-che Yang, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Natasha Ironside, David Mathieu, Christian Iorio-Morin, Inga S. Grills, Caleb Feliciano, Gene H. Barnett, Robert M. Starke, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a treatment option for pediatric brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and early obliteration could encourage SRS utilization for a subset of particularly radiosensitive lesions. The objective of this study was to determine predictors of early obliteration after SRS for pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM database. Obliterated pediatric AVMs were sorted into early (obliteration ≤ 24 months after SRS) and late (obliteration > 24 months after SRS) responders. Predictors of early obliteration were identified, and the outcomes of each group were compared.

RESULTS

The overall study cohort was composed of 345 pediatric patients with obliterated AVMs. The early and late obliteration cohorts were made up of 95 (28%) and 250 (72%) patients, respectively. Independent predictors of early obliteration were female sex, a single SRS treatment, a higher margin dose, a higher isodose line, a deep AVM location, and a smaller AVM volume. The crude rate of post-SRS hemorrhage was 50% lower in the early (3.2%) than in the late (6.4%) obliteration cohorts, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.248). The other outcomes of the early versus late obliteration cohorts were similar, with respect to symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), cyst formation, and tumor formation.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately one-quarter of pediatric AVMs that become obliterated after SRS will achieve this radiological endpoint within 24 months of initial SRS. The authors identified multiple factors associated with early obliteration, which may aid in prognostication and management. The overall risks of delayed hemorrhage, RICs, cyst formation, and tumor formation were not statistically different in patients with early versus late obliteration.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Robert M. Starke, Gabriella Paisan, Hideyuki Kano, Paul P. Huang, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, David Mathieu, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, John Y. K. Lee, Gene H. Barnett, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The goal of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is complete nidus obliteration, thereby eliminating the risk of future hemorrhage. This outcome can be observed within the first 18 months, although documentation of AVM obliteration can extend to as much as 5 years after SRS is performed. A shorter time to obliteration may impact the frequency and effect of post-SRS complications and latency hemorrhage. The authors' goal in the present study was to determine predictors of early obliteration (18 months or less) following SRS for cerebral AVM.

METHODS

Eight centers participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) obtained institutional review board approval to supply de-identified patient data. From a cohort of 2231 patients, a total of 1398 patients had confirmed AVM obliteration. Patients were sorted into early responders (198 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration at or prior to 18 months after SRS, and late responders (1200 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration more than 18 months after SRS. The median clinical follow-up time was 63.7 months (range 7–324.7 months).

RESULTS

Outcome parameters including latency interval hemorrhage, mortality, and favorable outcome were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Radiologically demonstrated radiation-induced changes were noted more often in the late responder group (376 patients [31.3%] vs 39 patients [19.7%] for early responders, p = 0.005). Multivariate independent predictors of early obliteration included a margin dose > 24 Gy (p = 0.031), prior surgery (p = 0.002), no prior radiotherapy (p = 0.025), smaller AVM nidus (p = 0.002), deep venous drainage (p = 0.039), and nidus location (p < 0.0001). Basal ganglia, cerebellum, and frontal lobe nidus locations favored early obliteration (p = 0.009). The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (VRAS) score was significantly different between the 2 responder groups (p = 0.039). The VRAS score was also shown to be predictive of early obliteration on univariate analysis (p = 0.009). For early obliteration, such prognostic ability was not shown for other SRS- and AVM-related grading systems.

CONCLUSIONS

Early obliteration (≤ 18 months post-SRS) was more common in patients whose AVMs were smaller, located in the frontal lobe, basal ganglia, or cerebellum, had deep venous drainage, and had received a margin dose > 24 Gy.

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Mohana Rao Patibandla, Dale Ding, Hideyuki Kano, Robert M. Starke, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, Jamie Whitesell, John T. Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The role of and technique for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have evolved over the past four decades. The aim of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study was to compare the SRS outcomes of AVMs treated during different time periods.

METHODS

The authors selected patients with AVMs who underwent single-session SRS at 8 different centers from 1988 to 2014 with follow-up ≥ 6 months. The SRS eras were categorized as early (1988–2000) or modern (2001–2014). Statistical analyses were performed to compare the baseline characteristics and outcomes of the early versus modern SRS eras. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs).

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 2248 patients with AVMs, including 1584 in the early and 664 in the modern SRS eras. AVMs in the early SRS era were significantly smaller (p < 0.001 for maximum diameter and volume), and they were treated with a significantly higher radiosurgical margin dose (p < 0.001). The obliteration rate was significantly higher in the early SRS era (65% vs 51%, p < 0.001), and earlier SRS treatment period was an independent predictor of obliteration in the multivariate analysis (p < 0.001). The rates of post-SRS hemorrhage and radiological, symptomatic, and permanent RICs were not significantly different between the two groups. Favorable outcome was achieved in a significantly higher proportion of patients in the early SRS era (61% vs 45%, p < 0.001), but the earlier SRS era was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis (p = 0.470) with favorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite considerable advances in SRS technology, refinement of AVM selection, and contemporary multimodality AVM treatment, the study failed to observe substantial improvements in SRS favorable outcomes or obliteration for patients with AVMs over time. Differences in baseline AVM characteristics and SRS treatment parameters may partially account for the significantly lower obliteration rates in the modern SRS era. However, improvements in patient selection and dose planning are necessary to optimize the utility of SRS in the contemporary management of AVMs.

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Robert M. Starke, David J. McCarthy, Ching-Jen Chen, Hideyuki Kano, Brendan J. McShane, John Lee, Mohana Rao Patibandla, David Mathieu, Lucas T. Vasas, Anthony M. Kaufmann, Wei Gang Wang, Inga S. Grills, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gabriella Paisan, John Vargo, Tomas Chytka, Ladislava Janouskova, Caleb E. Feliciano, Nanthiya Sujijantarat, Charles Matouk, Veronica Chiang, Judith Hess, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Daniel A. Tonetti, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The authors performed a study to evaluate the hemorrhagic rates of cerebral dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) and the risk factors of hemorrhage following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS).

METHODS

Data from a cohort of patients undergoing GKRS for cerebral dAVFs were compiled from the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation. The annual posttreatment hemorrhage rate was calculated as the number of hemorrhages divided by the patient-years at risk. Risk factors for dAVF hemorrhage prior to GKRS and during the latency period after radiosurgery were evaluated in a multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 147 patients with dAVFs were treated with GKRS. Thirty-six patients (24.5%) presented with hemorrhage. dAVFs that had any cortical venous drainage (CVD) (OR = 3.8, p = 0.003) or convexity or torcula location (OR = 3.3, p = 0.017) were more likely to present with hemorrhage in multivariate analysis. Half of the patients had prior treatment (49.7%). Post-GRKS hemorrhage occurred in 4 patients, with an overall annual risk of 0.84% during the latency period. The annual risks of post-GKRS hemorrhage for Borden type 2–3 dAVFs and Borden type 2–3 hemorrhagic dAVFs were 1.45% and 0.93%, respectively. No hemorrhage occurred after radiological confirmation of obliteration. Independent predictors of hemorrhage following GKRS included nonhemorrhagic neural deficit presentation (HR = 21.6, p = 0.027) and increasing number of past endovascular treatments (HR = 1.81, p = 0.036).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients have similar rates of hemorrhage before and after radiosurgery until obliteration is achieved. dAVFs that have any CVD or are located in the convexity or torcula were more likely to present with hemorrhage. Patients presenting with nonhemorrhagic neural deficits and a history of endovascular treatments had higher risks of post-GKRS hemorrhage.

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Diogo Cordeiro, Zhiyuan Xu, Gautam U. Mehta, Dale Ding, Mary Lee Vance, Hideyuki Kano, Nathaniel Sisterson, Huai-che Yang, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford, David Mathieu, Gene H. Barnett, Veronica Chiang, John Lee, Penny Sneed, Yan-Hua Su, Cheng-chia Lee, Michal Krsek, Roman Liscak, Ahmed M. Nabeel, Amr El-Shehaby, Khaled Abdel Karim, Wael A. Reda, Nuria Martinez-Moreno, Roberto Martinez-Alvarez, Kevin Blas, Inga Grills, Kuei C. Lee, Mikulas Kosak, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gennadiy A. Katsevman and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Recurrent or residual adenomas are frequently treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS). The most common complication after GKRS for pituitary adenomas is hypopituitarism. In the current study, the authors detail the timing and types of hypopituitarism in a multicenter, international cohort of pituitary adenoma patients treated with GKRS.

METHODS

Seventeen institutions pooled clinical data obtained from pituitary adenoma patients who were treated with GKRS from 1988 to 2016. Patients who had undergone prior radiotherapy were excluded. A total of 1023 patients met the study inclusion criteria. The treated lesions included 410 nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs), 262 cases of Cushing’s disease (CD), and 251 cases of acromegaly. The median follow-up was 51 months (range 6–246 months). Statistical analysis was performed using a Cox proportional hazards model to evaluate factors associated with the development of new-onset hypopituitarism.

RESULTS

At last follow-up, 248 patients had developed new pituitary hormone deficiency (86 with NFPA, 66 with CD, and 96 with acromegaly). Among these patients, 150 (60.5%) had single and 98 (39.5%) had multiple hormone deficiencies. New hormonal changes included 82 cortisol (21.6%), 135 thyrotropin (35.6%), 92 gonadotropin (24.3%), 59 growth hormone (15.6%), and 11 vasopressin (2.9%) deficiencies. The actuarial 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, 7-year, and 10-year rates of hypopituitarism were 7.8%, 16.2%, 22.4%, 27.5%, and 31.3%, respectively. The median time to hypopituitarism onset was 39 months.

In univariate analyses, an increased rate of new-onset hypopituitarism was significantly associated with a lower isodose line (p = 0.006, HR = 8.695), whole sellar targeting (p = 0.033, HR = 1.452), and treatment of a functional pituitary adenoma as compared with an NFPA (p = 0.008, HR = 1.510). In multivariate analyses, only a lower isodose line was found to be an independent predictor of new-onset hypopituitarism (p = 0.001, HR = 1.38).

CONCLUSIONS

Hypopituitarism remains the most common unintended effect of GKRS for a pituitary adenoma. Treating the target volume at an isodose line of 50% or greater and avoiding whole-sellar radiosurgery, unless necessary, will likely mitigate the risk of post-GKRS hypopituitarism. Follow-up of these patients is required to detect and treat latent endocrinopathies.