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Claire Olson, Chun-Po Yen, David Schlesinger and Jason Sheehan

Object

Intracranial hemangiopericytoma is a rare CNS tumor that exhibits a high incidence of local recurrence and distant metastasis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in the management of intracranial hemangiopericytomas.

Methods

In a review of the University of Virginia radiosurgery database between 1989 and 2008, the authors found recurrent or residual hemangiopericytomas after resection in 21 patients in whom radiosurgery was performed to treat 28 discrete tumors. The median age of this population was 47 years (range 31–61 years) at the time of the initial GKS. Prior treatments included embolization (6), transcranial resection (39), transsphenoidal resection (2), and fractionated radiotherapy (8). The mean prescription and maximum radiosurgical doses to the tumors were 17.0 and 40.3 Gy, respectively. Repeat radiosurgery was used to treat 13 tumors. The median follow-up period was 68 months (range 2–138 months).

Results

At last follow-up, local tumor control was demonstrated in 47.6% of the patients (10 of 21 patients) with hemangiopericytomas. Of the 28 tumors treated, 8 decreased in size on follow-up imaging (28.6%), 5 remained unchanged (17.9%), and 15 ultimately progressed (53.6%). The progression-free survival rates were 90, 60.3, and 28.7% at 1, 3, and 5 years after initial GKS. The progression-free survival rate improved to 95, 71.5, and 71.5% at 1, 3, and 5 years after multiple GKS treatments. The 5-year survival rate after radiosurgery was 81%. Prior fractionated irradiation or radiosurgical prescription dose did not correlate with tumor control. In 4 (19%) of 21 patients extracranial metastases developed.

Conclusions

Radiosurgery is a reasonable treatment option for recurrent hemangiopericytomas. Long-term close clinical and imaging follow-up is necessary because of the high probability of local recurrence and distant metastases. Repeat radiosurgery may be used to treat new or recurrent hemangiopericytomas over a long follow-up course.

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Gamma Knife surgery–induced meningioma

Report of two cases and review of the literature

Jason Sheehan, Chun PO Yen and Ladislau Steiner

✓Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is a minimally invasive neurosurgical technique. During the past 30 years, radiosurgery has been performed for a number of intracranial disorders with a generally low incidence of side effects. Although radiation-induced neoplasia following radiotherapy is well documented, there are few reports of this complication following radiosurgery.

The authors are engaged in an ongoing project in which they are studying the delayed adverse effects of radiosurgical changes in 2500 patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) treated within a 30-year period. The cases of 1333 patients treated by the senior author (L.S.) have been reviewed thus far. A subset of 288 patients in this group underwent neuroimaging and participated in clinical follow up for at least 10 years.

The authors report two cases of radiosurgically induced neoplasia. In both cases the patient was treated with GKS for an AVM. Longer than 10 years after GKS, each of the patients was found to have an incidental, uniformly enhancing, dura-based mass lesion near the site of the AVM. These lesions displayed the imaging characteristics of a meningioma. Because in both cases the lesion has displayed no evidence of a mass effect, they continue to be followed using serial neuroimaging. These are the fifth and sixth cases meeting the criteria for radiation-induced neoplasms defined by Cahan, et al., in 1998.

Although radiosurgery is generally considered quite safe, the incidence of radiation-induced neoplasms is not known. These cases and the few others detailed in the literature emphasize the need for long-term neurosurgical follow-up review in patients after radiosurgery.

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Dale Ding, Zhiyuan Xu, Ian T. McNeill, Chun-Po Yen and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Parasagittal and parafalcine (PSPF) meningiomas represent the second most common location for intracranial meningiomas. Involvement of the superior sagittal sinus or deep draining veins may prevent gross-total resection of these tumors without significant morbidity. The authors review their results for treatment of PSPF meningiomas with radiosurgery.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the institutional review board–approved University of Virginia Gamma Knife database and identified 65 patients with 90 WHO Grade I parasagittal (59%) and parafalcine (41%) meningiomas who had a mean MRI follow-up of 56.6 months. The patients' mean age was 57 years, the median preradiosurgery Karnofsky Performance Status score was 80, and the median initial tumor and treatment volumes were 3 and 3.7 cm3, respectively. The median prescription dose was 15 Gy, isodose line was 40%, and the number of isocenters was 5. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to determine progression-free survival (PFS). Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with PFS.

Results

The median overall PFS was 75.6 months. The actuarial tumor control rate was 85% at 3 years and 70% at 5 years. Parasagittal location, no prior resection, and younger age were found to be independent predictors of tumor PFS. For the 49 patients with clinical follow-up (mean 70.8 months), the median postradiosurgery Karnofsky Performance Status score was 90. Symptomatic postradiosurgery peritumoral edema was observed in 4 patients (8.2%); this group comprised 3 patients (6.1%) with temporary and 1 patient (2%) with permanent clinical sequelae. Two patients (4.1%) died of tumor progression.

Conclusions

Radiosurgery offers a minimally invasive treatment option for PSPF meningiomas, with a good tumor control rate and an acceptable complication rate comparable to most surgical series.

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Robert M. Starke, Chun-Po Yen, Dale Ding and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

The authors performed a study to review outcomes following Gamma Knife radiosurgery for cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and to create a practical scale to predict long-term outcome.

Methods

Outcomes were reviewed in 1012 patients who were followed up for more than 2 years. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent, symptomatic, radiation-induced complication. Preradiosurgery patient and AVM characteristics predictive of outcome in multivariate analysis were weighted according to their odds ratios to create the Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale.

Results

The mean follow-up time was 8 years (range 2–20 years). Arteriovenous malformation obliteration occurred in 69% of patients. Postradiosurgery hemorrhage occurred in 88 patients, for a yearly incidence of 1.14%. Radiation-induced changes occurred in 387 patients (38.2%), symptoms in 100 (9.9%), and permanent deficits in 21 (2.1%). Favorable outcome was achieved in 649 patients (64.1%). The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale was created such that patients were assigned 1 point each for having an AVM volume of 2–4 cm3, eloquent AVM location, or a history of hemorrhage, and 2 points for having an AVM volume greater than 4 cm3. Eighty percent of patients who had a score of 0–1 points had a favorable outcome, as did 70% who had a score of 2 points and 45% who had a score of 3–4 points. The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale was still predictive of outcome after controlling for predictive Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment parameters, including peripheral dose and number of isocenters, in a multivariate analysis. The Spetzler-Martin grading scale and the Radiosurgery-Based Grading Scale predicted favorable outcome, but the Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale provided the best assessment.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife radiosurgery can be used to achieve long-term AVM obliteration and neurological preservation in a predictable fashion based on patient and AVM characteristics.

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Cheng-Chia Lee, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason Sheehan

Object

The use of radiosurgery has been well accepted for treating small to medium-size metastatic brain tumors (MBTs). However, its utility in treating large MBTs remains uncertain due to potentially unfavorable effects such as progressive perifocal brain edema and neurological deterioration. In this retrospective study the authors evaluated the local tumor control rate and analyzed possible factors affecting tumor and brain edema response.

Methods

The authors defined a large brain metastasis as one with a measurement of 3 cm or more in at least one of the 3 cardinal planes (coronal, axial, or sagittal). A consecutive series of 109 patients with 119 large intracranial metastatic lesions were treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) between October 2000 and December 2012; the median tumor volume was 16.8 cm3 (range 6.0–74.8 cm3). The pre-GKS Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score for these patients ranged from 70 to 100. The most common tumors of origin were non–small cell lung cancers (29.4% of cases in this series). Thirty-six patients (33.0%) had previously undergone a craniotomy (1–3 times) for tumor resection. Forty-three patients (39.4%) underwent whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) before GKS. Patients were treated with GKS and followed clinically and radiographically at 2- to 3-month intervals thereafter.

Results

The median duration of imaging follow-up after GKS for patients with large MBTs in this series was 6.3 months. In the first follow-up MRI studies (performed within 3 months after GKS), 77 lesions (64.7%) had regressed, 24 (20.2%) were stable, and 18 (15.1%) were found to have grown. Peritumoral brain edema as defined on T2-weighted MRI sequences had decreased in 79 lesions (66.4%), was stable in 21 (17.6%), but had progressed in 19 (16.0%). In the group of patients who survived longer than 6 months (76 patients with 77 MBTs), 88.3% of the MBTs (68 of 77 lesions) had regressed or remained stable at the most recent imaging follow-up, and 89.6% (69 of 77 lesions) showed regression of perifocal brain edema volume or stable condition. The median duration of survival after GKS was 8.3 months for patients with large MBTs. Patients with small cell lung cancer and no previous WBRT had a significantly higher tumor control rate as well as better brain edema relief. Patients with a single metastasis, better KPS scores, and no previous radiosurgery or WBRT were more likely to decrease corticosteroid use after GKS. On the other hand, higher pre-GKS KPS score was the only factor that showed a statistically significant association with longer survival.

Conclusions

Treating large MBTs using either microsurgery or radiosurgery is a challenge for neurosurgeons. In selected patients with large brain metastases, radiosurgery offered a reasonable local tumor control rate and favorable functional preservation. Exacerbation of underlying edema was rare in this case series. Far more commonly, edema and steroid use were lessened after radiosurgery. Radiosurgery appears to be a reasonable option for some patients with large MBTs.

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Dale Ding, Chun-Po Yen, Robert M. Starke, Zhiyuan Xu and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Ruptured intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are at a significantly greater risk for future hemorrhage than unruptured lesions, thereby necessitating treatment in the majority of cases. In a retrospective, single-center study, the authors describe the outcomes after radiosurgery in a large cohort of patients with ruptured AVMs.

Methods

From an institutional review board–approved, prospectively collected AVM radiosurgery database, the authors identified all patients with a history of AVM rupture. They analyzed obliteration rates in all patients in whom radiological follow-up data were available (n = 639). However, to account for the latency period associated with radiosurgery, only those patients with more than 2 years of radiological follow-up and those with earlier AMV obliteration were included in the analysis of prognostic factors related to obliteration and complications. This resulted in a cohort of 565 patients with ruptured AVMs for whom data were analyzed; these patients had a median radiological follow-up of 57 months and a median age of 29 years. Twenty-one percent of the patients underwent preradiosurgery embolization. The median volume and prescription dose were 2.1 cm3 and 22 Gy, respectively. The Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 56% of patients, the median radiosurgery-based AVM score was 1.08, and the Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (RAS) score was 3 to 4 points in 44%. Survival and regression analyses were performed to determine obliteration rates over time and predictors of obliteration and complications.

Results

In the overall population of 639 patients with ruptured AVMs, the obliteration rate was 11.1% based on MRI only (71 of 639 patients), 56.0% based on angiography (358 of 639), and 67.1% based on combined modalities (429 of 639 patients). In the cohort of patients with 2 years of follow-up or an earlier AVM obliteration, the cumulative obliteration rate was 76% and the actuarial obliteration rates were 41% and 64% at 3 and 5 years, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified the absence of preradiosurgery embolization (p < 0.001), increased prescription dose (p = 0.001), the presence of a single draining vein (p = 0.046), no postradiosurgery-related hemorrhage (p = 0.007), and lower Virginia RAS score (p = 0.020) as independent predictors of obliteration. The annual risk of a hemorrhage occurring during the latency period was 2.0% and the rate of hemorrhage-related morbidity and mortality was 1.6%. Multivariate analysis showed that decreased prescription dose (p < 0.001) and multiple draining veins (p = 0.003) were independent predictors of postradiosurgery hemorrhage. The rates of symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes were 8% and 2.7%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, a single draining vein (p < 0.001) and higher Virginia RAS score (p = 0.005) were independent predictors of radiation-induced changes following radiosurgery.

Conclusions

Radiosurgery effectively treats ruptured AVMs with an acceptably low risk-to-benefit ratio. For patients with ruptured AVMs, favorable outcomes are more likely when preradiosurgical embolization is avoided and a higher prescription dose can be delivered.

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Dale Ding, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, Robert M. Starke and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Low-grade, or Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grades I and II, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are associated with lower surgical morbidity rates than higher-grade lesions. While radiosurgery is now widely accepted as an effective treatment approach for AVMs, the risks and benefits of the procedure for low-grade AVMs, as compared with microsurgery, remain poorly understood. The authors of this study present the outcomes for a large cohort of low-grade AVMs treated with radiosurgery.

Methods

From an institutional radiosurgery database comprising approximately 1450 AVM cases, all patients with SM Grade I and II lesions were identified. Patients with less than 2 years of radiological follow-up, except those with complete AVM obliteration, were excluded from analysis. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional-hazards and logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with obliteration, radiation-induced changes (RICs), and hemorrhage following radiosurgery.

Results

Five hundred two patients harboring low-grade AVMs were eligible for analysis. The median age was 35 years, 50% of patients were male, and the most common presentation was hemorrhage (47%). The median AVM volume and prescription dose were 2.4 cm3 and 23 Gy, respectively. The median radiological and clinical follow-up intervals were 48 and 62 months, respectively. The cumulative obliteration rate was 76%. The median time to obliteration was 40 months, and the actuarial obliteration rates were 66% and 80% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Independent predictors of obliteration were no preradiosurgery embolization (p < 0.001), decreased AVM volume (p = 0.005), single draining vein (p = 0.013), lower radiosurgery-based AVM scale score (p = 0.016), and lower Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (Virginia RAS) score (p = 0.001). The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.4% with increased AVM volume (p = 0.034) and lower prescription dose (p = 0.006) as independent predictors. Symptomatic and permanent RICs were observed in 8.2% and 1.4% of patients, respectively. No preradiosurgery hemorrhage (p = 0.011), a decreased prescription dose (p = 0.038), and a higher Virginia RAS score (p = 0.001) were independently associated with postradiosurgery RICs.

Conclusions

Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II AVMs are very amenable to successful treatment with stereotactic radiosurgery. While patient, physician, and institutional preferences frequently dictate the final course of treatment, radiosurgery offers a favorable risk-to-benefit profile for the management of low-grade AVMs.

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Dale Ding, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, Robert M. Starke and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

The appropriate management of unruptured intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains controversial. In the present study, the authors evaluate the radiographic and clinical outcomes of radiosurgery for a large cohort of patients with unruptured AVMs.

Methods

From a prospective database of 1204 cases of AVMs involving patients treated with radiosurgery at their institution, the authors identified 444 patients without evidence of rupture prior to radiosurgery. The patients' mean age was 36.9 years, and 50% were male. The mean AVM nidus volume was 4.2 cm3, 13.5% of the AVMs were in a deep location, and 44.4% were at least Spetzler-Martin Grade III. The median radiosurgical prescription dose was 20 Gy. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to determine risk factors associated with obliteration, postradiosurgery hemorrhage, radiation-induced changes, and postradiosurgery cyst formation. The mean duration of radiological and clinical follow-up was 76 months and 86 months, respectively.

Results

The cumulative AVM obliteration rate was 62%, and the postradiosurgery annual hemorrhage rate was 1.6%. Radiation-induced changes were symptomatic in 13.7% and permanent in 2.0% of patients. The statistically significant independent positive predictors of obliteration were no preradiosurgery embolization (p < 0.001), increased prescription dose (p < 0.001), single draining vein (p < 0.001), radiological presence of radiation-induced changes (p = 0.004), and lower Spetzler-Martin grade (p = 0.016). Increased volume and higher Pittsburgh radiosurgery-based AVM score were predictors of postradiosurgery hemorrhage in the univariate analysis only. Clinical deterioration occurred in 30 patients (6.8%), more commonly in patients with postradiosurgery hemorrhage (p = 0.018).

Conclusions

Radiosurgery afforded a reasonable chance of obliteration of unruptured AVMs with relatively low rates of clinical and radiological complications.

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Chun Po Yen, Jason Sheehan, Greg Patterson and Ladislau Steiner

Object

The authors review imaging and clinical outcomes in patients with metastatic brainstem tumors treated using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

Between March 1989 and March 2005, 53 patients (24 men and 29 women) with metastatic brainstem lesions underwent GKS. The metastatic deposits were located in the midbrain in eight patients, the pons in 42, and the medulla oblongata in three. Lung cancer was the most common primary malignancy, followed by breast cancer, melanoma, and renal cell carcinoma. The mean volume of the metastatic deposits at the time of treatment was 2.8 cm3 (range 0.05–21 cm3). The prescription doses varied from 9 to 25 Gy (mean 17.6 Gy).

Imaging follow-up studies were not completed in 16 patients, because of the short-term survival in 11 and patient refusal in five. Of the remaining 37 patients, who underwent an imaging follow-up evaluation at a mean of 9.8 months (range 1–25 months), the tumors disappeared in seven, shrank in 22, remained unchanged in three, and grew in five. All but one of 18 patients with asymptomatic brainstem deposits remained free of symptoms. In 35 patients with symptomatic brainstem deposits, neurological symptoms improved in 21, remained stable in 11, and worsened in three. At the time of this study, 10 patients were alive, and their survival ranged from 3 to 52 months after treatment. Thirty-four patients died of extracranial disease, three of the progressing metastatic brainstem lesion, and six of additional progressing intracranial deposits in other parts of the brain. The overall median survival period was 11 months after GKS. In terms of survival, the absence of active extracranial disease was the only favorable prognostic factor. Neither previous whole-brain radiation therapy nor a single brainstem metastasis was statistically related to the duration of survival.

Conclusions

Compared with allowing a metastatic brainstem lesion to take its natural course, GKS prolongs survival. The risks associated with such treatment are low. The severity of systemic diseases largely determines the prognosis of metastases to the brainstem.

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Editorial

Arteriovenous malformations

Douglas Kondziolka