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Cheng-Chia Lee and David Hung-Chi Pan

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Da Li and Jun-Ting Zhang

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Wen-Yuh Chung, David Hung-Chi Pan, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Wan-Yuo Guo, and Ling-Wei Wang

Object. The goal of this study was to elucidate the role of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) and adjuvant stereotactic procedures by assessing the outcome of 31 consecutive patients harboring craniopharyngiomas treated between March 1993 and December 1999.

Methods. There were 31 consecutive patients with craniopharyngiomas: 18 were men and 13 were women. The mean age was 32 years (range 3–69 years). The mean tumor volume was 9 cm3 (range 0.3–28 cm3). The prescription dose to the tumor margin varied from 9.5 to 16 Gy. The visual pathways received 8 Gy or less. Three patients underwent stereotactic aspiration to decompress the cystic component before GKS. The tumor response was classified by percentage reduction of tumor volume as calculated based on magnetic resonance imaging studies. Clinical outcome was evaluated according to improvement and dependence on replacement therapy.

An initial postoperative volume increase with enlargement of a cystic component was found in three patients. They were treated by adjuvant stereotactic aspiration and/or Ommaya reservoir implantation. Tumor control was achieved in 87% of patients and 84% had fair to excellent clinical outcome in an average follow-up period of 36 months. Treatment failure due to uncontrolled tumor progression was seen in four patients at 26, 33, 49, and 55 months, respectively, after GKS. Only one patient was found to have a mildly restricted visual field; no additional endocrinological impairment or neurological deterioration could be attributed to the treatment. There was no treatment-related mortality.

Conclusions. Multimodality management of patients with craniopharyngiomas seemed to provide a better quality of patient survival and greater long-term tumor control. It is suggested that GKS accompanied by adjuvant stereotactic procedures should be used as an alternative in treating recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas if further microsurgical excision cannot promise a cure.

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Kang-Du Liu, Wen-Yuh Chung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Ling-Wei Wang, Wan-You Guo, and David Hung-Chi Pan

Object. The authors sought to determine the value of gamma knife surgery (GKS) in the treatment of cavernous hemangiomas (CHs).

Methods. Between 1993 and 2002, a total of 125 patients with symptomatic CHs were treated with GKS. Ninety-seven patients presented with bleeding and 45 of these had at least two bleeding episodes. Thirteen patients presented with seizures combined with hemorrhage, and 15 patients presented with seizures alone. The mean margin dose of radiation was 12.1 Gy and the mean follow-up time was 5.4 years.

In the 112 patients who had bled the number of rebleeds after GKS was 32. These rebleeds were defined both clinically and based on magnetic resonance imaging for an annual rebleeding rate of 32 episodes/492 patient-years or 6.5%. Twenty-three of the 32 rebleeding episodes occurred within 2 years after GKS. Nine episodes occurred after 2 years; thus, the annual rebleeding rate after GKS was 10.3% for the first 2 years and 3.3% thereafter (p = 0.0038). In the 45 patients with at least two bleeding episodes before GKS, the rebleeding rate dropped from 29.2% (55 episodes/188 patient-years) before treatment to 5% (10 episodes/197 patient-years) after treatment (p < 0.0001). Among the 28 patients who presented with seizures, 15 (53%) had good outcomes (Engel Grades I and II). In this study of 125 patients, symptomatic radiation-induced complications developed in only three patients.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery can effectively reduce the rebleeding rate after the first symptomatic hemorrhage in patients with CH. In addition, GKS may be useful in reducing the severity of seizures in patients with CH.

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David Hung-chi Pan, Wen-yuh Chung, Wan-yuo Guo, Hsiu-mei Wu, Kang-du Liu, Cheng-ying Shiau, and Ling-wei Wang

Object. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of radiosurgery for the treatment of dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) located in the region of the transverse—sigmoid sinus.

Methods. A series of 20 patients with DAVFs located in the transverse—sigmoid sinus, who were treated with gamma knife surgery between June 1995 and June 2000, was evaluated. According to the Cognard classification, the DAVF was Type I in four patients, Type IIa in seven, Type IIb in two, and combined Type IIa+b in seven. Nine patients had previously been treated with surgery and/or embolization, whereas 11 patients underwent radiosurgery alone. Radiosurgery was performed using multiple-isocenter irradiation of the delineated DAVF nidus. The target volume ranged from 1.7 to 40.7 cm3. The margin dose delivered to the nidus ranged from 16.5 to 19 Gy at a 50 to 70% isodose level.

Nineteen patients were available for follow-up review, the duration of which ranged from 6 to 58 months (median 19 months). Of the 19 patients, 14 (74%) were cured of their symptoms. At follow up, magnetic resonance imaging and/or angiography demonstrated complete obliteration of the DAVF in 11 patients (58%), subtotal obliteration (95% reduction of the nidus) in three (16%), and partial obliteration in another five (26%). There was no neurological complication related to the treatment. One patient experienced a recurrence of the DAVF 18 months after angiographic confirmation of total obliteration, and underwent a second course of radiosurgery.

Conclusions. Stereotactic radiosurgery provides a safe and effective option for the treatment of DAVFs involving the transverse and sigmoid sinuses. For some aggressive DAVFs with extensive retrograde cortical venous drainage, however, a combination of endovascular embolization and surgery may be necessary.

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Yi-Chieh Hung, Cheng-Chia Lee, Kang-Du Liu, Wen-Yuh Chung, David Hung-Chi Pan, and Huai-Che Yang

Object

The authors evaluated individual anatomical variations in the trigeminal nerves of patients with medically intractable trigeminal neuralgia and clarified the relationships among the variations, radiosurgical target locations, and the clinical outcomes after high-dose Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

From 2006 through 2011, the authors conducted a retrospective review of 106 cases of primary or secondary trigeminal neuralgia consecutively treated with GKS targeting the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) for which a maximal dose of 90 Gy and a 20% isodose line to the brainstem were used. A questionnaire was used to evaluate patients' pre- and post-GKS clinical conditions. To evaluate individual anatomical variations among trigeminal nerves, the authors used 3 parameters: the length of the trigeminal nerve in the cistern (nerve length), the length of the target between the radiation shot and the brainstem (targeting length), and the ratio between nerve length and targeting length (targeting ratio).

Results

The median length of the trigeminal nerves in the 106 patients was 9.6 mm (range 6.04−20.74 mm), the median targeting length was 3.8 mm (range 1.81−10.84 mm), and the median targeting ratio was 38% (range 13%− 80%). No statistically significant differences in pain relief and pain recurrence were detected among patients with these various nerve characteristics. However, radiation-induced facial hypesthesia correlated with nerve length and targeting ratio (p < 0.05) but not with absolute distance from the brainstem (targeting length).

Conclusions

In trigeminal neuralgia patients who received DREZ-targeted GKS, the rate of pain relief did not differ according to anatomical nerve variations. However, the frequency of facial hypesthesia was higher among patients in whom the nerve was longer (> 11 mm) or the targeting ratio was lower (< 36%). Adjusting the target according to the targeting ratio, especially for patients with longer nerves, can reduce facial hypesthesia and enable maintenance of effective pain control.

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Dennis R. Buis and W. Peter Vandertop

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Cheng-Chia Lee, David Hung-Chi Pan, Wen-Yuh Chung, Kang-Du Liu, Huai-Che Yang, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wan-Yuo Guo, and Yang-Hsin Shih

Object

The authors retrospectively reviewed the efficacy and safety of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients with brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs). The CMs had bled repeatedly and placed the patients at high risk with respect to surgical intervention.

Methods

Between 1993 and 2010, 49 patients with symptomatic CMs were treated by GKS. The mean age in these patients was 37.8 years, and the predominant sex was female (59.2%). All 49 patients experienced at least 2 instances of repeated bleeding before GKS; these hemorrhages caused neurological deficits including cranial nerve deficits, hemiparesis, hemisensory deficits, spasticity, chorea or athetosis, and consciousness disturbance.

Results

The mean size of the CMs at the time of GKS was 3.2 cm3 (range 0.1–14.6 cm3). The mean radiation dose directed to the lesion was 11 Gy with an isodose level at 60.0%. The mean clinical and imaging follow-up time was 40.6 months (range 1.0–150.7 months). Forty-five patients participated in regularly scheduled follow-up. Twenty-nine patients (59.2%) were followed up for > 2 years, and 16 (32.7%) were followed up for < 2 years. The pre-GKS annual hemorrhage rate was 31.3% (69 symptomatic hemorrhages during a total of 220.3 patient-years). After GKS, 3 episodes of symptomatic hemorrhage were observed within the first 2 years of follow-up (4.29% annual hemorrhage rate), and 3 episodes of symptomatic hemorrhage were observed after the first 2 years of follow-up (3.64% annual hemorrhage rate). In this study of 49 patients, symptomatic radiation-induced complications developed in only 2 patients (4.1%; cyst formation in 1 patient and perifocal edema with neurological deficits in the other patient). There were no deaths in this group.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is effective in reducing the rate of recurrent hemorrhage. In the authors' experience, it was possible to control bleeding using a low-dose treatment. In addition, there were few symptomatic radiation-induced complications. As a result, the authors believe that GKS is a good alternative treatment for brainstem CMs.

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Bengt Karlsson, Wan-Yuo Guo, Teo Kejia, Nivedh Dinesh, David Hung-Chi Pan, Hidefumi Jokura, Jun Kawagishi, Albertus T. C. J. van Eck, Gerhard A. Horstmann, Tseng Tsai Yeo, and Masaaki Yamamoto

Object

The optimal management of central neurocytoma (CN) remnants and recurrences is still not clear. To date no large series of patients treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for CNs has been published. For that reason the authors decided to combine data from 5 different centers so that they could analyze the largest population of patients treated with GKS for CN currently available.

Methods

Data obtained in 42 patients who were treated for CN with GKS before July 1, 2010, were retrospectively collected and analyzed. The median prescribed dose was 13 Gy (range 11–25 Gy). The follow-up time in these patients ranged from 0.5 to 14.7 years (mean 6.1 years, median 4.9 years). Eleven patients were followed up for 5–10 years and 9 patients for more than 10 years. All patients were alive and well at the closing of the study except 1 patient, who died of injuries sustained in a traffic accident.

Results

Two cases of local tumor progression and 2 cases of distant tumor recurrence occurred among the patient population, yielding 5- and 10-year tumor control rates of 91% and 81%, respectively. No permanent complications occurred. The findings were in line with results reported in earlier publications. Despite the high tumor control rate, enlargement of part of or the whole ventricular system was seen in 45% of patients.

Conclusions

The high tumor control rate and the low complication rate following GKS indicate that GKS is the preferred treatment for CN tumor remnants or recurrences following microsurgery. However, data from longer follow-up times in more patients are needed before this conclusion can be validated. The patients need to be closely monitored and potential hydrocephalus managed despite tumor control.