✓Cordectomy is an effective treatment option in patients in whom posttraumatic syringomyelia develops following complete spinal cord injuries. Since the introduction of cordectomy, numerous approaches to the surgical treatment of posttraumatic syringomyelia have been developed. These newer developments have drawn the attention of surgeons and researchers away from cordectomy. In this report, the authors encourage a reconsideration of cordectomy for the treatment of posttraumatic syringomyelia after complete spinal cord injury. They describe four patients with posttraumatic syringomyelia who were treated successfully with cordectomy and review appropriate literature, examining the effectiveness of cordectomy in the treatment of posttraumatic syringomyelia. The findings of this review indicate that neurological improvement or stabilization occurred in 88% of patients in published reports of posttraumatic syringomyelia treated with cordectomy. The indications for cordectomy as well as factors that may contribute to the procedure’s success are discussed.
Report of four cases and review of the literature
Adrian W. Laxton and Richard G. Perrin
Adrian W. Laxton, Patrick Shannon, Sukriti Nag, Richard I. Farb and Mark Bernstein
✓ This 39-year-old man presented with a 6-month history of occipital headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed an irregularly shaped fourth ventricle mass. One month after his initial presentation, he was admitted to the hospital with significant tumor expansion and clinical deterioration. A posterior fossa craniectomy was performed and the mass was resected. Histopathological analysis of this tumor showed central necrosis with associated edema in an otherwise typical and benign-appearing subependymoma. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of rapid, nonhemorrhagic expansion associated with necrosis in a previously asymptomatic subependymoma.
Ann Liu, Elizabeth N. Kuhn, John T. Lucas Jr., Adrian W. Laxton, Stephen B. Tatter and Michael D. Chan
Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder predisposing patients to meningiomatosis. The role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is poorly defined in NF2, and although the procedure has excellent control rates in the non-NF2 population, its utility has been questioned because radiation has been hypothesized to predispose patients to malignant transformation of benign tumors. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to examine the use of SRS specifically for meningiomas in patients with NF2.
The authors searched a tumor registry for all patients with NF2 who had undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for meningioma in the period from January 1, 1999, to September 19, 2013, at a single tertiary care cancer center. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed for patient and tumor characteristics and outcomes.
Among the 12 patients who met the search criteria, 125 meningiomas were identified, 87 (70%) of which were symptomatic or progressive and thus treated with GKRS. The median age at the first GKRS was 31 years (interquartile range [IQR] 27–37 years). Five patients (42%) had multiple treatments with a median of 27 months (IQR 14–50 months) until the subsequent GKRS. The median follow-up in surviving patients was 43 months (IQR 34–110 months). The 5-year local tumor control and distant treatment failure rates were 92% and 77%, respectively. Toxicities occurred in 25% of the GKRS treatments, although the majority were Grade 1 or 2. At the last follow-up, 4 patients (33%) had died a neurological death at a median age of 39 years (IQR 37–46 years), and their cases accounted for 45% of all tumors, 55% of all treated tumors, and 58% of all GKRSs. Univariate analysis revealed several predictive variables for distant failure, including male sex (HR 0.28, 95% CI 0.086–0.92, p = 0.036), age at distant failure (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.90–0.95, p < 0.0001), and prior number of GKRS treatments (HR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.4, p = 0.0049). Local failure, maximum size of the treated tumor, delivered tumor margin dose, and WHO grade were not significant. On multivariate analysis, age at distant failure (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.88–0.95, p < 0.0001) and prior number of GKRSs (HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1–1.5, p = 0.004) remained significant. No malignant transformation events among treated tumors were observed.
Radiosurgery represents a feasible modality with minimal toxicity for NF2-associated meningiomas. Increasing patient age was associated with a decreased rate of distant failure, whereas an increasing number of prior GKRS treatments predicted distant failure. Further studies are necessary to determine the long-term patterns of treatment failure in these patients.
James L. West, Michael H. Soike, Jaclyn J. Renfrow, Michael D. Chan, Adrian W. Laxton and Stephen B. Tatter
Rathke’s cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign lesions of the sella turcica that usually come to neurosurgical attention due to compression of the optic apparatus (OA) and headaches. Treatment options for these lesions include observation, aspiration of cyst contents, or open resection of the cyst with the cyst wall. All of these options involve the potential for cyst recurrence or enlargement. In this study the authors report on a potential new therapeutic option for RCCs, i.e., stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).
A retrospective review was conducted of 5 patients with histologically confirmed, multiply recurrent RCCs who were treated with single-fraction SRS at a tertiary referral academic medical center.
The total cohort consisted of 5 female patients with an average age of 31.8 years. The most common presenting symptom was headache followed by blurry vision. The symptoms were present on average for 7 months before intervention. The median number of surgeries prior to radiosurgery was 2. The average volume of lesion treated was 0.34 cm3. The median SRS dose was 12.5 Gy prescribed to the 50% isodose line with an average prescription coverage of 96.6%. The median dose to the OA was 5 Gy. At last follow-up, 3 of 5 cysts had completely regressed, 1 had regressed by more than 50% but was still present, and 1 was stable, with an overall mean follow-up duration of 34.2 months. There were no neurological, endocrinological, or visual complications attributable to SRS during the follow-up period.
RCCs can be a challenging clinical entity to treat, especially when they are multiply recurrent. In patients with an average of 2 previous surgeries for resection, a single SRS session prevented recurrence universally, with an average follow-up of almost 3 years. These results indicate that further investigation of the treatment of RCCs with SRS is indicated.
Elizabeth N. Kuhn, Glen B. Taksler, Orrin Dayton, Amritraj G. Loganathan, Tamara Z. Vern-Gross, J. Daniel Bourland, Adrian W. Laxton, Michael D. Chan and Stephen B. Tatter
The purpose of this study was to evaluate patterns of failure after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for meningiomas and factors that may influence these outcomes.
Based on a retrospective chart review, 279 patients were treated with SRS for meningiomas between January 1999 and March 2011 at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Disease progression was determined using serial imaging, with a minimum follow-up of 6 months (median 34.2 months).
The median margin dose was 12.0 Gy (range 8.8–20 Gy). Local control rates for WHO Grade I tumors were 96.6%, 84.4%, and 75.7% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. WHO Grade II and III tumors had local control rates of 72.3%, 57.7%, and 52.9% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Tumors without pathological grading had local control rates of 98.7%, 97.6%, and 94.2% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Of the local recurrences, 63.1% were classified as marginal (within 2 cm of treatment field). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year rates of distant failure were 6.5%, 10.3%, and 16.6%, respectively, for Grade I tumors and 11.4%, 17.2%, and 22.4%, respectively, for Grade II/III tumors. Tumors without pathological grading had distant failure rates of 0.7%, 3.2%, and 6.5% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Wilcoxon analysis revealed that multifocal disease (p < 0.001) and high-grade histology (WHO Grade II or III; p < 0.001) were significant predictors of local recurrence. Additionally, male sex was a significant predictor of distant recurrence (p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis also showed that doses greater than or equal to 12 Gy were associated with improved local control (p = 0.015).
In this patient series, 12 Gy was the minimum sufficient margin dose for the treatment of meningiomas. Male sex is a risk factor for distant failure, whereas high-grade histology and multifocal disease are risk factors for local failure.
Manmeet Ahluwalia, Gene H. Barnett, Di Deng, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Eric Leuthardt, Roukoz Chamoun, Kevin Judy, Anthony Asher, Marco Essig, Jorg Dietrich and Veronica L. Chiang
Laser Ablation After Stereotactic Radiosurgery (LAASR) is a multicenter prospective study of laser interstitial thermal (LITT) ablation in patients with radiographic progression after stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases.
Patients with a Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score ≥ 60, an age > 18 years, and surgical eligibility were included in this study. The primary outcome was local progression-free survival (PFS) assessed using the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology Brain Metastases (RANO-BM) criteria. Secondary outcomes were overall survival (OS), procedure safety, neurocognitive function, and quality of life.
Forty-two patients—19 with biopsy-proven radiation necrosis, 20 with recurrent tumor, and 3 with no diagnosis—were enrolled. The median age was 60 years, 64% of the subjects were female, and the median baseline KPS score was 85. Mean lesion volume was 6.4 cm3 (range 0.4–38.6 cm3). There was no significant difference in length of stay between the recurrent tumor and radiation necrosis patients (median 2.3 vs 1.7 days, respectively). Progression-free survival and OS rates were 74% (20/27) and 72%, respectively, at 26 weeks. Thirty percent of subjects were able to stop or reduce steroid usage by 12 weeks after surgery. Median KPS score, quality of life, and neurocognitive results did not change significantly for either group over the duration of survival. Adverse events were also similar for the two groups, with no significant difference in the overall event rate. There was a 12-week PFS and OS advantage for the radiation necrosis patients compared with the recurrent tumor or tumor progression patients.
In this study, in which enrolled patients had few alternative options for salvage treatment, LITT ablation stabilized the KPS score, preserved quality of life and cognition, had a steroid-sparing effect, and was performed safely in the majority of cases.
Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01651078 (clinicaltrials.gov)
Corbin A. Helis, Emory McTyre, Michael T. Munley, J. Daniel Bourland, John T. Lucas Jr., Christina K. Cramer, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton and Michael D. Chan
A small subset of patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) will experience bilateral symptoms. Treatment in these patients is controversial because the population is heterogeneous and patients may have nonvascular etiologies of their pain. This study reports treatment outcomes in the largest cohort of patients with bilateral TN who have undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) to date.
A retrospective chart review identified 51 individual nerves in 34 patients with bilateral TN who were treated with GKRS at the authors’ institution between 2001 and 2015, with 12 nerves in 11 patients undergoing repeat GKRS for recurrent or persistent symptoms. Long-term follow-up was obtained by telephone interview. Pain outcomes were measured using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain scale, with BNI IIIb or better considered a successful treatment.
There was sufficient follow-up to determine treatment outcomes for 48 individual nerves in 33 patients. Of these nerves, 42 (88%) achieved at least BNI IIIb pain relief. The median duration of pain relief was 1.9 years, and 1-, 3-, and 5-year pain relief rates were 64%, 44%, and 44%, respectively. No patients experienced bothersome facial numbness, and 1 case of anesthesia dolorosa and 2 cases of corneal dryness were reported. Patients with a history of definite or possible multiple sclerosis were significantly more likely to experience BNI IV–V relapse. There was no statistically significant difference in treatment outcomes between patients in this series versus a large cohort of patients with unilateral TN treated at the authors’ institution. There was sufficient follow-up to determine treatment outcomes for 11 individual nerves in 10 patients treated with repeat GKRS. Ten nerves (91%) improved to at least BNI IIIb after treatment. The median duration of pain relief was 2.8 years, with 1-, 3-, and 5-year rates of pain relief of 79%, 53%, and 53%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in outcomes between initial and repeat GKRS. One case of bothersome facial numbness and 1 case of corneal dryness were reported, with no patients developing anesthesia dolorosa with retreatment.
GKRS is a safe, well-tolerated treatment for patients with medically refractory bilateral TN. Efficacy of treatment appears similar to that in patients with unilateral TN. GKRS can be safely repeated in this population if necessary.
Corbin A. Helis, Ryan T. Hughes, Michael T. Munley, J. Daniel Bourland, Travis Jacobson, John T. Lucas Jr., Christina K. Cramer, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton and Michael D. Chan
Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is a commonly used procedure for medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN), with repeat GKRS routinely done in cases of pain relapse. The results of a third GKRS in cases of further pain relapse have not been well described. In this study, the authors report the largest series of patients treated with a third GKRS for TN to date.
Retrospective review of institutional electronic medical records and a GKRS database was performed to identify patients who had been treated with a third GKRS at the authors’ institution in the period from 2010 to 2018. Telephone interviews were used to collect long-term follow-up data. Pain outcomes were measured using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity scale, with a score ≤ IIIb indicating successful treatment.
Twenty-two nerves in 21 patients had sufficient follow-up to determine BNI pain score outcomes. Eighteen of 22 cases had a successful third GKRS, with a median durability of pain relief of 3.88 years. There was no significant difference in the durability of pain relief after a third GKRS compared with those of institutional historical controls of prior series of first and second GKRS procedures. Ten cases had new or worsening facial numbness, with 1 case being bothersome. Four cases of toxicity other than facial numbness were reported, including 1 case of corneal abrasions and possible neurotrophic keratopathy. No cases of anesthesia dolorosa were reported. No factors predicting treatment success or the durability of pain relief were identified. Nonnumbness toxicity was more common in those with a proximally placed shot at the third GKRS.
A third GKRS is an effective treatment option for TN patients who have pain relapse after repeat GKRS. Pain outcomes of a third GKRS are similar to those following a first or second GKRS. Toxicity is tolerable in patients with a distally placed shot at the third GKRS.
Will H. McKay, Emory R. McTyre, Catherine Okoukoni, Natalie K. Alphonse-Sullivan, Jimmy Ruiz, Michael T. Munley, Shadi Qasem, Hui-Wen Lo, Fei Xing, Adrian W. Laxton, Stephen B. Tatter, Kounosuke Watabe and Michael D. Chan
There are a variety of salvage options available for patients with brain metastases who experience local failure after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). These options include resection, whole-brain radiation therapy, laser thermoablation, and repeat SRS. There is little data on the safety and efficacy of repeat SRS following local failure of a prior radiosurgical procedure. This study evaluates the clinical outcomes and dosimetric characteristics of patients who experienced tumor recurrence and were subsequently treated with repeat SRS.
Between 2002 and 2015, 32 patients were treated with repeat SRS for local recurrence of ≥ 1 brain metastasis following initial SRS treatment. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate time-to-event outcomes including overall survival (OS), local failure, and radiation necrosis. Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed for predictor variables of interest for each outcome. Composite dose-volume histograms were constructed for each reirradiated lesion, and these were then used to develop a predictive dosimetric model for radiation necrosis.
Forty-six lesions in 32 patients were re-treated with a second course of SRS after local failure. A median dose of 20 Gy (range 14–22 Gy) was delivered to the tumor margin at the time of repeat SRS. Local control at 1 year was 79% (95% CI 67%–94%). Estimated 1-year OS was 70% (95% CI 55%–88%). Twelve patients had died at the most recent follow-up, with 8/12 patients experiencing neurological death (as described in Patchell et al.). Eleven of 46 (24%) lesions in 11 separate patients treated with repeat SRS were associated with symptomatic radiation necrosis. Freedom from radiation necrosis at 1 year was 71% (95% CI 57%–88%). Analysis of dosimetric data revealed that the volume of a lesion receiving 40 Gy (V40Gy) was the most predictive factor for the development of radiation necrosis (p = 0.003). The following V40Gy thresholds were associated with 10%, 20%, and 50% probabilities of radiation necrosis, respectively: 0.28 cm3 (95% CI 3%–28%), 0.76 cm3 (95% CI 9%–39%), 1.60 cm3 (95% CI 26%–74%).
Repeat SRS appears to be an effective salvage option for patients with brain metastases experiencing local failure following initial SRS treatment. This series demonstrates durable local control and, although rates of radiation necrosis are significant, repeat SRS may be indicated for select cases of local disease recurrence. Because the V40Gy is predictive of radiation necrosis, limiting this value during treatment planning may allow for a reduction in radiation necrosis rates.