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Constantin Tuleasca, Iulia Peciu-Florianu, Henri-Arthur Leroy, Maximilien Vermandel, Mohamed Faouzi and Nicolas Reyns

OBJECTIVE

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) present no pathologic tissue, and radiation dose is confined in a clear targeted volume. The authors retrospectively evaluated the role of the biologically effective dose (BED) after Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for brain AVMs.

METHODS

A total of 149 consecutive cases of unruptured AVMs treated by upfront GKRS in Lille University Hospital, France, were included. The mean length of follow-up was 52.9 months (median 48, range 12–154 months). The primary outcome was obliteration, and the secondary outcome was complication appearance. The marginal dose was 24 Gy in a vast majority of cases (n = 115, 77.2%; range 18–25 Gy). The mean BED was 220.1 Gy2.47 (median 229.9, range 106.7–246.8 Gy2.47). The mean beam-on time was 32.3 minutes (median 30.8, range 9–138.7 minutes). In the present series, the mean radiation dose rate was 2.259 Gy/min (median 2.176, range 1.313–3.665 Gy/min). The Virginia score was 0 in 29 (19.5%), 1 in 61 (40.9%), 2 in 41 (27.5%), 3 in 18 (12.1%), and 4 in 0 (0%) patients, respectively. The mean Pollock-Flickinger score was 1.11 (median 1.52, range 0.4–2.9). Univariate (for obliteration and complication appearance) and multivariate (for obliteration only) analyses were performed.

RESULTS

A total of 104 AVMs (69.8%) were obliterated at the last follow-up. The strongest predictor for obliteration was BED (p = 0.03). A radiosurgical obliteration score is proposed, derived from a fitted multivariable model: (0.018 × BED) + (1.58 × V12) + (−0.013689 × beam-on time) + (0.021 × age) − 4.38. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.7438; after internal validation using bootstrap methods, it was 0.7088. No statistically significant relationship between radiation dose rate and obliteration was found (p = 0.29). Twenty-eight (18.8%) patients developed complications after GKRS; 20 (13.4%) of these patients had transient adverse radiological effects (perilesional edema developed). Predictors for complication appearance were higher prescription isodose volume (p = 0.005) and 12-Gy isodose line volume (V12; p = 0.001), higher Pollock-Flickinger (p = 0.02) and Virginia scores (p = 0.003), and lower beam-on time (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The BED was the strongest predictor of obliteration of unruptured AVMs after upfront GKRS. A radiosurgical score comprising the BED is proposed. The V12 appears as a predictor for both efficacy and toxicity. Beam-on time was illustrated as statistically significant for both obliteration and complication appearance. The radiation dose rate did not influence obliteration in the current analysis. The exact BED threshold remains to be established by further studies.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Mercy George, Mohamed Faouzi, Luis Schiappacasse, Henri-Arthur Leroy, Michele Zeverino, Roy Thomas Daniel, Raphael Maire and Marc Levivier

OBJECTIVE

Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) represent a common indication of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). While most studies focus on the long-term morbidity and adverse radiation effects (AREs), none describe the acute clinical AREs that might appear on a short-term basis. These types of events are investigated, and their incidence, type, and outcomes are reported in the present paper.

METHODS

The included patients were treated between July 2010 and March 2016, underwent at least 6 months of follow-up, and presented with a disabling symptom during the first 6 months after GKS that affected their quality of life. The timing of appearance, as well as the type of main symptom and outcome, were noted. The prescribed dose was 12 Gy at the margin.

RESULTS

Thirty-five (22%) of 159 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria had acute clinical AREs. The mean followup period was 30 months (range 6–49.2 months). The mean time of appearance was 37.9 days (median 31 days; range 3–110 days). In patients with de novo symptoms, the more frequent symptoms were vertigo (n = 4; 11.4%) and gait disturbance (n = 3; 8.6%). The exacerbation of a preexisting symptom was more frequently related to hearing loss (n = 10; 28.6%), followed by gait disturbance (n = 7; 20%) and vertigo (n = 3, 8.6%). In the univariate logistic regression analysis, the following factors were statistically significant: age (p = 0.002; odds ratio [OR] 0.96), hearing at baseline by Gardner-Robertson (GR) class (p = 0.006; OR 0.21), pure tone average at baseline (p = 0.006; OR 0.97), and Koos grade at baseline (with Koos Grade I used as a reference) (for Koos Grade II, OR 0.17 and p = 0.002; for Koos Grade III, OR 0.42 and p = 0.05). The following were not statistically significant but showed a tendency toward significance: the number of isocenters (p = 0.06; OR 0.94) and the maximal dose received by the cochlea (p = 0.07; OR 0.74). Fractional polynomial regression analysis showed a nonlinear relationship between the outcome and the radiation dose rate (minimum reached at a cutoff of 2.5 Gy/minute) and the maximal vestibular dose (maximum reached at a cutoff of 8 Gy), but the small sample size precludes a detailed analysis of the former. The clinical acute AREs disappeared in 32 (91.4%) patients during the first 6 months after appearance. Permanent and somewhat disabling morbidity was found in 3 cases (1.9% from the whole series): 1 each with complete hearing loss (GR Class I before and V after), hemifacial spasm (persistent but alleviated), and dysgeusia.

CONCLUSIONS

Acute effects after radiosurgery for VS are not rare. They concern predominantly de novo vertigo and gait disturbance and the exacerbation of preexistent hearing loss. In de novo vestibular symptoms, a vestibular dose of more than 8 Gy is thought to play a role. In most cases, none of these effects are permanent, and they will ultimately improve or disappear with steroid therapy. Permanent AREs remain very rare.