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  • Author or Editor: Amitabh Gupta x
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Amitabh Gupta and Anthony E. Lang

Although shunt placement constitutes the primary treatment for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH), it has been challenging to decide which patients to refer for such an intervention. Procedures involving CSF removal, such as large-volume lumbar puncture (LP) and external lumbar drainage, are commonly used to predict a successful response to surgery, but their positive and negative predictive values have considerable shortcomings. The authors here report the case of a 76-year-old woman with possible INPH whose condition improved equally well after actual and sham large-volume LPs. The authors discuss the implications of this placebo response in the context of the diagnosis and management of INPH. The authors suggest that the clinical response to sham procedures for CSF removal might provide important information for better predicting which patient might respond to shunt surgery.

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Roberto Heros

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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


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.


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%.


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.


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.