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Arteriovenous malformations and radiosurgery

Douglas Kondziolka, Hideyuki Kano and L. Dade Lunsford

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Editorial

Trigeminal neuralgia

Kim J. Burchiel

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Editorial

Relationship between tinnitus and surgical options for vestibular schwannomas

Douglas Kondziolka and Hideyuki Kano

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Gillian Harrison, Hideyuki Kano, L. Dade Lunsford, John C. Flickinger and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECT

The reported tumor control rates for meningiomas after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are high; however, early imaging assessment of tumor volumes may not accurately predict the eventual tumor response. The objective in this study was to quantitatively evaluate the volumetric responses of meningiomas after SRS and to determine whether early volume responses are predictive of longer-term tumor control.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of 252 patients (median age 56 years, range 14–87 years) who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery between 2002 and 2010. All patients had evaluable pre- and postoperative T1-weighted contrast-enhanced MRIs. The median baseline tumor volume was 3.5 cm3 (range 0.2–33.8 cm3) and the median follow-up was 19.5 months (range 0.1–104.6 months). Follow-up tumor volumes were compared with baseline volumes. Tumor volume percent change and the tumor volume rate of change were compared at 3-month intervals. Eventual tumor responses were classified as progressed for > 15% volume change, regressed for ≤ 15% change, and stable for ± 15% of baseline volume at time of last follow-up. Volumetric data were compared with the final tumor status by using univariable and multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS

Tumor volume regression (median decrease of −40.2%) was demonstrated in 168 (67%) patients, tumor stabilization (median change of −2.7%) in 67 (26%) patients, and delayed tumor progression (median increase of 104%) in 17 (7%) patients (p < 0.001). Tumors that eventually regressed had an average volume reduction of −18.2% at 3 months. Tumors that eventually progressed all demonstrated volume increase by 6 months. Transient progression was observed in 15 tumors before eventual decrease, and transient regression was noted in 6 tumors before eventual volume increase.

CONCLUSIONS

The volume response of meningiomas after SRS is dynamic, and early imaging estimations of the tumor volume may not correlate with the final tumor response. However, tumors that ultimately regressed tended to respond in the first 3 months, whereas tumors that ultimately progressed showed progression within 6 months.

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Jason Sheehan and Chun Po Yen

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L. Dade Lunsford, Aftab A. Khan, Ajay Niranjan, Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger and Douglas Kondziolka

Object

A retrospective study was conducted to reassess the benefit and safety of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with solitary cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) that bleed repeatedly and are poor candidates for surgical removal.

Methods

Between 1988 and 2005 at the University of Pittsburgh, the authors performed SRS in 103 evaluable patients (57 males and 46 females) with solitary symptomatic CCMs. The mean patient age was 39.3 years. Ninety-eight percent of these patients had experienced 2 or more hemorrhages associated with new neurological deficits. Seventeen patients (16.5%) had undergone attempted resection before radiosurgery. Ninety-three CCMs were located in deep brain structures and 10 were in subcortical lobar areas of functional brain importance. The median malformation volume was 1.31 ml, and the median tumor margin dose was 16 Gy.

Results

The follow-up ranged from 2 to 20 years. The annual hemorrhage rate—that is, a new neurological deficit associated with imaging evidence of a new hemorrhage—before SRS was 32.5%. After SRS 22 hemorrhages were observed within 2 years (10.8% annual hemorrhage rate) and 4 hemorrhages were observed after 2 years (1.06% annual hemorrhage rate). The risk of hemorrhage from a CCM was significantly reduced after radiosurgery (p < 0.0001). Overall, new neurological deficits due to adverse radiation effects following SRS developed in 14 patients (13.5%), with most occurring early in our experience. Modifications in technique (treatment volume within the T2-weighted MR imaging–defined margin, use of MR imaging, and dose reduction for CCM in critical brainstem locations) further reduced risks after SRS.

Conclusions

Data in this study provide further evidence that SRS is a relatively safe procedure that reduces the rebleeding rate for CCMs located in high-surgical-risk areas of the brain.

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Kyung-Jae Park, Hideyuki Kano, Douglas Kondziolka, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The authors report their experience of using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients with subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA).

Methods

Over a 20-year period, the authors identified 6 patients with SEGAs who were eligible for GKS. The median patient age was 16.5 years (range 7–55 years). In 4 patients, GKS was used as a primary management therapy. One patient underwent radiosurgery for recurrent tumors after prior resection, and in 1 patient GKS was used as an adjunct after subtotal resection. The median tumor volume at GKS was 2.75 cm3 (range 0.7–5.9 cm3). A median radiation dose of 14 Gy (range 11–20 Gy) was delivered to the tumor margin.

Results

The median follow-up duration was 73 months (range 42–90 months). Overall local tumor control was achieved in 4 tumors (67%) with progression-free periods of 24, 42, 57, and 66 months. Three tumors regressed and one remained unchanged. In 2 patients the tumors progressed, and in 1 of these patients the lesion was managed by repeated GKS with subsequent tumor regression. The other relatively large tumor (5.9 cm3) was excised 9 months after GKS. The progression-free period for all GKS-managed tumors varied from 9 to 66 months. There were no cases of hydrocephalus or GKS-related morbidity.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery may be an additional minimally invasive management option for SEGA in a patient who harbors a small but progressively enlarging tumor when complete resection is not safely achievable. It may also benefit patients with a residual or recurrent tumor that has progressed after surgery.

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Daniel Tonetti, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory Bowden, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The presentation for patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is often intracranial hemorrhage; for women, this frequently occurs during the prime childbearing years. Although previous studies have addressed the risk for AVM hemorrhage during pregnancy, such studies have not assessed the risk for hemorrhage among women who become pregnant during the latency interval between stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and documented obliteration of the lesion. The authors sought to evaluate the risk for hemorrhage in patients who become pregnant during the latency interval after SRS.

Methods

This single-institution retrospective analysis reviewed the authors' experience with Gamma Knife SRS during 1987–2012. During this time, 253 women of childbearing age (median age 30 years, range 15–40 years) underwent SRS for intracranial AVM. The median target volume was 3.9 cm3 (range 0.1–27.1 cm3), and the median marginal dose was 20 Gy (range 14–38 Gy). For all patients, the date of AVM obliteration was recorded and the latency interval was calculated. Information about subsequent pregnancies and/or bleeding events during the latency interval was retrieved from the medical records and supplemented by telephone contact.

Results

AVM obliteration was confirmed by MRI or angiography at a median follow-up time of 39.3 months (range 10–174 months). There were 828.7 patient-years of follow-up within the latency interval between SRS and the date of confirmed AVM obliteration. Among nonpregnant women, 20 hemorrhages occurred before AVM obliteration, yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 2.5% for nonpregnant women during the latency interval. Among women who became pregnant during the latency interval, 2 hemorrhages occurred over the course of 18 pregnancies, yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 11.1% for women who become pregnant during the latency interval. For the 2 pregnant patients who experienced hemorrhage, the bleeding occurred during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Conclusions

The authors present the first series of data for women with intracranial AVMs who became pregnant during the latency interval after SRS. Hemorrhage during the latency interval occurred at an annual rate of 2.5% for nonpregnant women and 11.1% for pregnant women. The data suggest that pregnancy might be a risk factor for AVM hemorrhage during the interval between SRS and AVM obliteration. However, this suggestion is not statistically significant because only 18 patients in the study population became pregnant during the latency interval. To mitigate any increased risk for hemorrhage, patients should consider deferring pregnancy until treatment conclusion and AVM obliteration.

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Greg Bowden, Hideyuki Kano, Huai-che Yang, Ajay Niranjan, John Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) within or adjacent to the ventricular system are largely unknown. This study assessed the long-term outcomes and hemorrhage risks for patients with AVMs within this region who underwent Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) at the University of Pittsburgh.

Methods

The authors retrospectively identified 188 patients with ventricular-region AVMs who underwent a single-stage GKS procedure during a 22-year interval. The median patient age was 32 years (range 3–80 years), the median target volume was 4.6 cm3 (range 0.1–22 cm3), and the median marginal dose was 20 Gy (range 13–27 Gy).

Results

Arteriovenous malformation obliteration was confirmed by MRI or angiography in 89 patients during a median follow-up of 65 months (range 2–265 months). The actuarial rates of total obliteration were 32% at 3 years, 55% at 4 years, 60% at 5 years, and 64% at 10 years. Higher rates of AVM obliteration were obtained in the 26 patients with intraventricular AVMs. Twenty-five patients (13%) sustained a hemorrhage during the initial latency interval after GKS, indicating an annual hemorrhage rate of 3.4% prior to AVM obliteration. No patient experienced a hemorrhage after AVM obliteration was confirmed by imaging. Permanent neurological deficits due to adverse radiation effects developed in 7 patients (4%).

Conclusions

Although patients in this study demonstrated an elevated hemorrhage risk that remained until complete obliteration, GKS still proved to be a generally safe and effective treatment for patients with these high-risk intraventricular and periventriclar AVMs.