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Daniele Starnoni, Roy Thomas Daniel, Constantin Tuleasca, Mercy George, Marc Levivier and Mahmoud Messerer

OBJECTIVE

During the last decade, the primary objective for large vestibular schwannoma (VS) management has progressively shifted, from tumor excision to nerve preservation by using a combined microsurgical and radiosurgical approach. The aim of this study was to provide a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available literature regarding the combined strategy of subtotal resection (STR) followed by stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for large VSs.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis in compliance with the PRISMA guidelines for article identification and inclusion using the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases. Established inclusion criteria were used to screen all identified relevant articles published before September 2017 without backward date limit.

RESULTS

The authors included 9 studies (248 patients). With a weighted mean follow-up of 46 months (range 28–68.8 months), the pooled rate of overall tumor control was 93.9% (95% CI 91.0%–96.8%). Salvage treatment (second STR and/or SRS) was necessary in only 13 (5.24%) of 18 patients who experienced initial treatment failure. According to the House-Brackmann (HB) grading scale, functional facial nerve preservation (HB grade I–II) was achieved in 96.1% of patients (95% CI 93.7%–98.5%). Serviceable hearing after the combined approach was preserved in 59.9% (95% CI 36.5%–83.2%).

CONCLUSIONS

A combined approach of STR followed by SRS was shown to have excellent clinical and functional outcomes while still achieving a tumor control rate comparable to that obtained with a total resection. Longer-term follow-up and larger patient cohorts are necessary to fully evaluate the rate of tumor control achieved with this approach.

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Jean Régis, Constantin Tuleasca, Noémie Resseguier, Romain Carron, Anne Donnet, Jean Gaudart and Marc Levivier

OBJECT

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is one of the surgical alternatives for the treatment of drug-resistant trigeminal neuralgia (TN). This study aims to evaluate the safety and efficacy of GKS in a large population of patients with TN with very long-term clinical follow-up.

METHODS

Between July 1992 and November 2010, 737 patients presenting with TN were treated using GKS. Data were collected prospectively and were further retrospectively evaluated at Timone University Hospital. The frequency and severity of pain, as well as trigeminal nerve function, were evaluated before GKS and regularly thereafter. Radiosurgery using the Gamma Knife (model B, C, 4C, or Perfexion) was performed with the help of both MR and CT targeting. A single 4-mm isocenter was positioned in the cisternal portion of the trigeminal nerve at a median distance of 7.6 mm (range 4–14 mm) anterior to the emergence of the nerve (retrogasserian target). A median maximum dose of 85 Gy (range 70–90 Gy) was prescribed.

RESULTS

The safety and efficacy are reported for 497 patients with medically refractory classical TN who were never previously treated by GKS and had a follow-up of at least 1 year. The median age in this series was 68.3 years (range 28.1–93.2 years). The median follow-up period was 43.8 months (range 12–174.4 months). Overall, 456 patients (91.75%) were initially pain free in a median time of 10 days (range 1–180 days). Their actuarial probabilities of remaining pain free without medication at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 71.8%, 64.9%, 59.7%, and 45.3%, respectively. One hundred fifty-seven patients (34.4%) who were initially pain free experienced at least 1 recurrence, with a median delay of onset of 24 months (range 0.6–150.1 months). However, the actuarial rate of maintaining pain relief without further surgery was 67.8% at 10 years. The hypesthesia actuarial rate at 5 years was 20.4% and at 7 years reached 21.1%, but remained stable until 14 years with a median delay of onset of 12 months (range 1–65 months). Very bothersome facial hypesthesia was reported in only 3 patients (0.6%).

CONCLUSIONS

Retrogasserian GKS proved to be safe and effective in the long term and in a very large number of patients. Even if the probability of long-lasting effects may be modest compared with microvascular decompression, the rarity of complications prompts discussion of using GKS as the pragmatic surgical first- or second-intention alternative for classical TN. However, a randomized trial, or at least a case-matched control study, would be required to compare with microvascular decompression.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Romain Carron, Noémie Resseguier, Anne Donnet, Philippe Roussel, Jean Gaudart, Marc Levivier and Jean Régis

Object

The goal of this study was to establish whether clear patterns of initial pain freedom could be identified when treating patients with classic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) by using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). The authors compared hypesthesia and pain recurrence rates to see if statistically significant differences could be found.

Methods

Between July 1992 and November 2010, 737 patients presenting with TN underwent GKS and prospective evaluation at Timone University Hospital in Marseille, France. In this study the authors analyzed the cases of 497 of these patients, who participated in follow-up longer than 1 year, did not have megadolichobasilar artery– or multiple sclerosis–related TN, and underwent GKS only once; in other words, the focus was on cases of classic TN with a single radiosurgical treatment. Radiosurgery was performed with a Leksell Gamma Knife (model B, C, or Perfexion) using both MR and CT imaging targeting. A single 4-mm isocenter was positioned in the cisternal portion of the trigeminal nerve at a median distance of 7.8 mm (range 4.5–14 mm) anterior to the emergence of the nerve. A median maximum dose of 85 Gy (range 70–90 Gy) was delivered. Using empirical methods and assisted by a chart with clear cut-off periods of pain free distribution, the authors were able to divide patients who experienced freedom from pain into 3 separate groups: patients who became pain free within the first 48 hours post-GKS; those who became pain free between 48 hours and 30 days post-GKS; and those who became pain free more than 30 days after GKS.

Results

The median age in the 497 patients was 68.3 years (range 28.1–93.2 years). The median follow-up period was 43.75 months (range 12–174.41 months). Four hundred fifty-four patients (91.34%) were initially pain free within a median time of 10 days (range 1–459 days) after GKS. One hundred sixty-nine patients (37.2%) became pain free within the first 48 hours (Group PF≤ 48 hours), 194 patients (42.8%) between posttreatment Day 3 and Day 30 (Group PF(>48 hours, ≤ 30 days)), and 91 patients (20%) after 30 days post-GKS (Group PF>30 days). Differences in postoperative hypesthesia were found: in Group PF≤ 48 hours 18 patients (13.7%) developed postoperative hypesthesia, compared with 30 patients (19%) in Group PF(>48 hours, ≤ 30 days) and 22 patients (30.6%) in Group PF>30 days (p = 0.014). One hundred fifty-seven patients (34.4%) who initially became free from pain experienced a recurrence of pain with a median delay of 24 months (range 0.62–150.06 months). There were no statistically significant differences between the patient groups with respect to pain recurrence: 66 patients (39%) in Group PF≤ 48 hours experienced pain recurrence, compared with 71 patients (36.6%) in Group PF(>48 hours, ≤ 30 days) and 27 patients (29.7%) in Group PF>30 days (p = 0.515).

Conclusions

A substantial number of patients (169 cases, 37.2%) became pain free within the first 48 hours. The rate of hypesthesia was higher in patients who became pain free more than 30 days after GKS, with a statistically significant difference between patient groups (p = 0.014).

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Veronica L. Chiang, Samuel T. Chao, Constantin Tuleasca, Matthew C. Foote, Cheng-chia Lee, David Mathieu, Hany Soliman and Arjun Sahgal

In order to determine what areas of research are a clinical priority, a small group of young Gamma Knife investigators was invited to attend a workshop discussion at the 19th International Leksell Gamma Knife Society Meeting. Two areas of interest and the need for future radiosurgical research involving multiple institutions were identified by the young investigators working group: 1) the development of additional imaging sequences to guide the understanding, treatment, and outcome tracking of diseases such as tremor, radiation necrosis, and AVM; and 2) trials to clarify the role of hypofractionation versus single-fraction radiosurgery in the treatment of large lesions such as brain metastases, postoperative cavities, and meningiomas.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Laura Negretti, Mohamed Faouzi, Vera Magaddino, Thierry Gevaert, Erik von Elm and Marc Levivier

OBJECTIVE

The authors present a retrospective analysis of a single-center experience with treatment of brain metastases using Gamma Knife (GK) and linear accelerator (LINAC)–based radiosurgery and compare the results.

METHODS

From July 2010 to July 2012, 63 patients with brain metastases were treated with radiosurgery. Among them, 28 (with 83 lesions) were treated with a GK unit and 35 (with 47 lesions) with a LINAC. The primary outcome was local progression–free survival (LPFS), evaluated on a per-lesion basis. The secondary outcome was overall survival (OS), evaluated per patient. Statistical analysis included standard tests and Cox regression with shared-frailty models to account for the within-patient correlation.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up period was 11.7 months (median 7.9 months, range 1.7–32 months) for GK and 18.1 months (median 17 months, range 7.5–28.7 months) for LINAC. The median number of lesions per patient was 2.5 (range 1–9) in the GK group and 1 (range 1–3) in the LINAC group (p < 0.01, 2-sample t-test). There were more radioresistant lesions (e.g., melanoma) and more lesions located in functional areas in the GK group. Additional technical reasons for choosing GK instead of LINAC were limitations of LINAC movements, especially if lesions were located in the lower posterior fossa or multiple lesions were close to highly functional areas (e.g., the brainstem), precluding optimal dosimetry with LINAC. The median marginal dose was 24 Gy with GK and 20 Gy with LINAC (p < 0.01, 2-sample t-test). For GK, the actuarial LPFS rate at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 17 months was 96.96%, 96.96%, 96.96%, 88.1%, and 81.5%, remaining stable until 32 months. For LINAC the rate at 3, 6, 12, 17, 24, and 33 months was 91.5%, 91.5%, 91.5%, 79.9%, 55.5%, and 17.1% (log-rank p = 0.03). In the Cox regression with shared-frailty model, the risk of local progression in the LINAC group was almost twice that of the GK group (HR 1.92, p > 0.05). The mean OS was 16.0 months (95% CI 11.2–20.9 months) in the GK group, compared with 20.9 months (95% CI 16.4–25.3 months) in the LINAC group. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that a lower graded prognostic assessment (GPA) score, noncontrolled systemic status at last radiological assessment, and older age were associated with lower OS; after adjustment of these covariables by Cox regression, the OS was similar in the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective study comparing GK and LINAC-based radiosurgery for brain metastases, patients with more severe disease were treated by GK, including those harboring lesions of greater number, of radioresistant type, or in highly functional areas. The risk of local progression for the LINAC group was almost twice that in the GK group, although the difference was not statistically significant. Importantly, the OS rates were similar for the 2 groups, although GK was used in patients with more complex brain metastatic disease and with no other therapeutic alternative.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Yohan Ducos, Marc Levivier, Fabrice Parker and Nozar Aghakhani

Free access

Constantin Tuleasca, Romain Carron, Noémie Resseguier, Anne Donnet, Philippe Roussel, Jean Gaudart, Marc Levivier and Jean Régis

Object

The purpose of this study was to establish the safety and efficacy of repeat Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for recurrent trigeminal neuralgia (TN).

Methods

Using the prospective database of TN patients treated with GKS in Timone University Hospital (Marseille, France), data were analyzed for 737 patients undergoing GKS for TN Type 1 from July 1992 to November 2010. Among the 497 patients with initial pain cessation, 34.4% (157/456 with ≥ 1-year follow-up) experienced at least 1 recurrence. Thirteen patients (1.8%) were considered for a second GKS, proposed only if the patients had good and prolonged initial pain cessation after the first GKS, with no other treatment alternative at the moment of recurrence. As for the first GKS, a single 4-mm isocenter was positioned in the cisternal portion of the trigeminal nerve at a median distance of 7.6 mm (range 4–14 mm) anterior to the emergence of the nerve (retrogasserian target). A median maximum dose of 90 Gy (range 70–90 Gy) was delivered. Data for 9 patients with at least 1-year followup were analyzed. A systematic review of literature was also performed, and results are compared with those of the Marseille study.

Results

The median time to retreatment in the Marseille study was 72 months (range 12–125 months) and in the literature it was 17 months (range 3–146 months). In the Marseille study, the median follow-up period was 33.9 months (range 12–96 months), and 8 of 9 patients (88.9%) had initial pain cessation with a median of 6.5 days (range 1–180 days). The actuarial rate for new hypesthesia was 33.3% at 6 months and 50% at 1 year, which remained stable for 7 years. The actuarial probabilities of maintaining pain relief without medication at 6 months and 1 year were 100% and 75%, respectively, and remained stable for 7 years. The systematic review analyzed 20 peer-reviewed studies reporting outcomes for repeat GKS for recurrent TN, with a total of 626 patients. Both the selection of the cases for retreatment and the way of reporting outcomes vary widely among studies, with a median rate for initial pain cessation of 88% (range 60%–100%) and for new hypesthesia of 33% (range 11%–80%).

Conclusions

Results from the Marseille study raise the question of surgical alternatives after failed GKS for TN. The rates of initial pain cessation and recurrence seem comparable to, or even better than, those of the first GKS, according to different studies, but toxicity is much higher, both in the Marseille study and in the published data. Neither the Marseille study data nor literature data answer the 3 cardinal questions regarding repeat radiosurgery in recurrent TN: which patients to retreat, which target is optimal, and which dose to use.

Free access

Constantin Tuleasca, Jean Régis, Elena Najdenovska, Tatiana Witjas, Nadine Girard, Thomas Bolton, Francois Delaire, Marion Vincent, Mohamed Faouzi, Jean-Philippe Thiran, Meritxell Bach Cuadra, Marc Levivier and Dimitri Van de Ville

OBJECTIVE

Essential tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder. Drug-resistant ET can benefit from standard stereotactic deep brain stimulation or radiofrequency thalamotomy or, alternatively, minimally invasive techniques, including stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and high-intensity focused ultrasound, at the level of the ventral intermediate nucleus (Vim). The aim of the present study was to evaluate potential correlations between pretherapeutic interconnectivity (IC), as depicted on resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI), and MR signature volume at 1 year after Vim SRS for tremor, to be able to potentially identify hypo- and hyperresponders based only on pretherapeutic neuroimaging data.

METHODS

Seventeen consecutive patients with ET were included, who benefitted from left unilateral SRS thalamotomy (SRS-T) between September 2014 and August 2015. Standard tremor assessment and rs-fMRI were acquired pretherapeutically and 1 year after SRS-T. A healthy control group was also included (n = 12). Group-level independent component analysis (ICA; only n = 17 for pretherapeutic rs-fMRI) was applied. The mean MR signature volume was 0.125 ml (median 0.063 ml, range 0.002–0.600 ml). The authors correlated baseline IC with 1-year MR signatures within all networks. A 2-sample t-test at the level of each component was first performed in two groups: group 1 (n = 8, volume < 0.063 ml) and group 2 (n = 9, volume ≥ 0.063 ml). These groups did not statistically differ by age, duration of symptoms, baseline ADL score, ADL point decrease at 1 year, time to tremor arrest, or baseline tremor score on the treated hand (TSTH; p > 0.05). An ANOVA was then performed on each component, using individual subject-level maps and continuous values of 1-year MR signatures, correlated with pretherapeutic IC.

RESULTS

Using 2-sample t-tests, two networks were found to be statistically significant: network 3, including the brainstem, motor cerebellum, bilateral thalamus, and left supplementary motor area (SMA) (pFWE = 0.004, cluster size = 94), interconnected with the red nucleus (MNI −2, −22, −32); and network 9, including the brainstem, posterior insula, bilateral thalamus, and left SMA (pFWE = 0.002, cluster size = 106), interconnected with the left SMA (MNI 24, −28, 44). Higher pretherapeutic IC was associated with higher MR volumes, in a network including the anterior default-mode network and bilateral thalamus (ANOVA, pFWE = 0.004, cluster size = 73), interconnected with cerebellar lobule V (MNI −12, −70, −22). Moreover, in the same network, radiological hyporesponders presented with negative IC values.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings have clinical implications for predicting MR signature volumes after SRS-T. Here, using pretherapeutic MRI and data processing without prior hypothesis, the authors showed that pretherapeutic network interconnectivity strength predicts 1-year MR signature volumes following SRS-T.