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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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Or Cohen-Inbar, Cheng-Chia Lee, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

The authors review outcomes following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and their correlation to postradiosurgery adverse radiation effects (AREs).

METHODS

From a prospective institutional review board–approved database, the authors identified patients with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up and thin-slice T2-weighted MRI sequences for volumetric analysis. A total of 105 AVM patients were included. The authors analyzed the incidence and quantitative changes in AREs as a function of time after GKRS. Statistical analysis was performed to identify factors related to ARE development and changes in the ARE index.

RESULTS

The median clinical follow-up was 53.8 months (range 24–212.4 months), and the median MRI follow-up was 36.8 months (range 24–212.4 months). 47.6% of patients had an AVM with a Spetzler-Martin grade ≥ III. The median administered margin and maximum doses were 22 and 40 Gy, respectively. The overall obliteration rate was 70.5%. Of patients who showed complete obliteration, 74.4% developed AREs within 4–6 months after GKRS. Late-onset AREs (i.e., > 12 months) correlated to a failure to obliterate the nidus. 58.1% of patients who developed appreciable AREs (defined as ARE index > 8) proceeded to have a complete nidus obliteration. Appreciable AREs were found to be influenced by AVM nidus volume > 3 ml, lobar location, number of draining veins and feeding arteries, prior embolization, and higher margin dose. On the other hand, a minimum ARE index > 8 predicted obliteration (p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

ARE development after radiosurgery follows a temporal pattern peaking at 7–12 months after stereotactic radiosurgery. The ARE index serves as an important adjunct tool in patient follow-up and outcome prediction.

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Mohana Rao Patibandla, Cheng-chia Lee, Athreya Tata, Gokul Chowdary Addagada and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Research over the past 2 decades has been characterizing the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the treatment of benign intracranial tumors, including meningiomas. However, few studies have examined the long-term outcomes of SRS treatment for posterior fossa meningiomas (PFMs). Furthermore, previous studies have typically used single diameter measurements when reporting outcomes, which can yield misleading results. The authors describe the use of SRS in the treatment of benign WHO grade I PFMs and correlate volumetric analysis with long-term outcomes.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained IRB-approved database. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of WHO grade I PFM with subsequent treatment via single-session SRS and a minimum of 3 follow-up MRI studies available. Volumetric analysis was performed on the radiosurgical scan and each subsequently available follow-up scan by using slice-by-slice area calculations of the meningioma and numerical integration with the trapezoid rule.

RESULTS

The final cohort consisted of 120 patients, 76.6% (92) of whom were female, with a median age of 61 years (12–88 years). Stereotactic radiosurgery was the primary treatment for 65% (78) of the patients, whereas 28.3% (34) had 1 resection before SRS treatment and 6.7% (8) had 2 or more resections before SRS. One patient had prior radiotherapy. Tumor characteristics included a median volume of 4.0 cm3 (0.4–40.9 cm3) at treatment with a median margin dose of 15 Gy (8–20 Gy). The median clinical and imaging follow-ups were 79.5 (15–224) and 72 (6–213) months, respectively. For patients treated with a margin dose ≥ 16 Gy, actuarial progression-free survival rates during the period 2–10 years post-SRS were 100%. In patients treated with a margin dose of 13–15 Gy, the actuarial progression-free survival rates at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 years were 97.5%, 97.5%, 93.4%, 93.4%, and 93.4%, respectively. Those who were treated with ≤ 12 Gy had actuarial progression-free survival rates of 95.8%, 82.9%, 73.2%, 56.9%, and 56.9% at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 years, respectively. The overall tumor control rate was 89.2% (107 patients). Post-SRS improvement in neurological symptoms occurred in 23.3% (28 patients), whereas symptoms were stable in 70.8% (85 patients) and worsened in 5.8% (7 patients). Volumetric analysis demonstrated that a change in tumor volume at 3 years after SRS reliably predicted a volumetric change and tumor control at 5 years (R2 = 0.756) with a p < 0.001 and at 10 years (R2 = 0.421) with a p = 0.001. The authors also noted that the 1- to 5-year tumor response is predictive of the 5- to 10-year tumor response (R2 = 0.636, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery, as an either upfront or adjuvant treatment, is a durable therapeutic option for WHO grade I PFMs, with high tumor control and a low incidence of post-SRS neurological deficits compared with those obtained using alternate treatment modalities. Lesion volumetric response at the short-term follow-up of 3 years is predictive of the long-term response at 5 and 10 years.

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Jason S. Cheng, Priscilla Park, Hai Le, Lori Reisner, Dean Chou and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

Previous studies comparing minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MITLIF) with open TLIF have demonstrated that MITLIF reduces blood loss and decreases postoperative pain while preserving fusion rates and reducing complications. In this study, the authors wanted to compare outcomes of MITLIF with those of open TLIF to determine whether MITLIF also improves postoperative functional mobility and decreases the usage of pain medication.

Methods

In total, 75 consecutive patients who underwent either single-level open TLIF or MITLIF at the University of California, San Francisco, between 2006 and 2011 were included, and patients were followed up for an average of 5.05 years. Fifty patients underwent MITLIF and 25 underwent open TLIF. Primary outcomes included administration of morphine-equivalent narcotics and functional status on postoperative Day 1. Secondary outcomes included operative characteristics, complications, long-term fusion rates, and visual analog scale (VAS) scores.

Results

No statistically significant differences in age, sex, body mass index (BMI), level of disease, or surgical indication were detected between the open TLIF and MITLIF groups. Similarly, preoperative medication usage did not significantly differ between these groups. Intraoperatively, compared with TLIF, MITLIF resulted in decreased lengths of operation, lower blood loss, and fewer complications (p < 0.05). Total administration of morphine-equivalent pain medication in the hospital also tended to be lower in the MITLIF than in the TLIF group. Functional assessment by physical therapy on postoperative Day 1 demonstrated higher function in the MITLIF patients for transfer-related tasks, ambulatory ability, and distance walked than in the TLIF patients (p < 0.05). This translated to shorter inpatient hospitalizations (6.05 vs 4.8 days for open TLIF vs MITLIF patients, respectively, p = 0.006) and an average cost reduction of $3885 per MITLIF patient. Long-term fusion rates were 92% in the MITLIF group and 100% in the open TLIF group (p = 0.09). Preoperative VAS pain scores were 7.1 for the MITLIF patients and 7.6 for the TLIF patients (p = 0.26). At the last follow-up, the reported VAS pain score was 2.9 in the MITLIF patients and 3.5 in the open TLIF patients, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.25). There was also no statistically significant difference in the degree change in this score (p = 0.44).

Conclusions

The MITLIF approach achieves improved functional mobility, decreases the usage of postoperative pain medication, and significantly reduces cost compared with open TLIF while preserving long-term fusion rates. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study comparing the postoperative usage of pain medication between treatments in the postoperative period before discharge.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Athreya Tata, Shayan Moosa, Cheng-chia Lee and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Parasellar meningiomas tend to invade the suprasellar, cavernous sinus, and petroclival regions, encroaching on adjacent neurovascular structures. As such, they prove difficult to safely and completely resect. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has played a central role in the treatment of parasellar meningiomas. Evaluation of tumor control rates at this location using simplified single-dimension measurements may prove misleading. The authors report the influence of SRS treatment parameters and the timing and volumetric changes of benign WHO Grade I parasellar meningiomas after SRS on long-term outcome.

METHODS

Patients with WHO Grade I parasellar meningiomas treated with single-session SRS and a minimum of 6 months of follow-up were selected. A total of 189 patients (22.2% males, n = 42) form the cohort. The median patient age was 54 years (range 19–88 years). SRS was performed as a primary upfront treatment for 44.4% (n = 84) of patients. Most (41.8%, n = 79) patients had undergone 1 resection prior to SRS. The median tumor volume at the time of SRS was 5.6 cm3 (0.2–54.8 cm3). The median margin dose was 14 Gy (range 5–35 Gy). The volumes of the parasellar meningioma were determined on follow-up scans, computed by segmenting the meningioma on a slice-by-slice basis with numerical integration using the trapezoidal rule.

RESULTS

The median follow-up was 71 months (range 6–298 months). Tumor volume control was achieved in 91.5% (n = 173). Tumor progression was documented in 8.5% (n = 16), equally divided among infield recurrences (4.2%, n = 8) and out-of-field recurrences (4.2%, n = 8). Post-SRS, new or worsening CN deficits were observed in 54 instances, of which 19 involved trigeminal nerve dysfunction and were 18 related to optic nerve dysfunction. Of these, 90.7% (n = 49) were due to tumor progression and only 9.3% (n = 5) were attributable to SRS. Overall, this translates to a 2.64% (n = 5/189) incidence of direct SRS-related complications. These patients were treated with repeat SRS (6.3%, n = 12), repeat resection (2.1%, n = 4), or both (3.2%, n = 6). For patients treated with a margin dose ≥ 16 Gy, the 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 15-year actuarial progression-free survival rates are 100%, 100%, 95.7%, 95.7%, 95.7%, 95.7%, and 95.7%, respectively. Patients treated with a margin dose < 16 Gy, had 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 15-year actuarial progression-free survival rates of 99.4%, 97.7%, 95.1%, 88.1%, 82.1%, 79.4%, and 79.4%, respectively. This difference was deemed statistically significant (p = 0.043). Reviewing the volumetric patient-specific measurements, the early follow-up volumetric measurements (at the 3-year follow-up) reliably predicted long-term volume changes and tumor volume control (at the 10-year follow-up) (p = 0.029).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is a durable and minimally invasive treatment modality for benign parasellar meningiomas. SRS offers high rates of growth control with a low incidence of neurological deficits compared with other treatment modalities for meningiomas in this region. Volumetric regression or stability during short-term follow-up of 3 years after SRS was shown to be predictive of long-term tumor control.

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Jason S. Cheng, Rene O. Sanchez-Mejia, Mary Limbo, Mariann M. Ward and Nicholas M. Barbaro

Object

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a painful disorder that frequently causes lancinating, electrical shock–like pain in the trigeminal distribution. Common surgical treatments include microvascular decompression (MVD), radio-surgery, and radiofrequency ablation, and complete pain relief is generally achieved with a single treatment in 70 to 85% of cases for all modalities. In a subset of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), however, the rates of surgical treatment failure and the need for additional procedures are significantly increased compared with those in patients without MS. In this study the authors report their experience with a cohort of 11 patients with TN who also had MS, and assess the efficacy of MVD, gamma knife surgery (GKS), and radiofrequency ablation in achieving complete or partial long-term pain relief.

Methods

Eleven patients with TN and MS who were treated by the senior author (N.B.) at the University of California, San Francisco were included in this study. All patients underwent GKS and/or radiofrequency ablation, and four received MVD. A detailed clinical history and intraoperative findings were recorded for each patient and frequent follow-up evaluations were performed, with a mean follow-up duration of 40.6 months (range 1–96 months). Pain was assessed for each patient by using the Barrow Neurological Institute scale (Scores I–V).

Conclusions

Achieving complete pain relief in patients with TN and MS required significantly more treatments compared with all other patients with TN who did not have MS (p = 0.004). Even when compared with a group of 32 patients who had highly refractory TN, the cohort with MS required significantly more treatments (p = 0.05). Radiosurgery proved to be an effective procedure and resulted in fewer retreatments and longer pain-free intervals compared with MVD or radiofrequency ablation.

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Jason S. Cheng, R. Mark Richardson, Alisa D. Gean and Shirley I. Stiver

The authors report the case of a patient who presented with a hoarse voice and left hemiparesis following a gunshot injury with trajectory entering the left scapula, traversing the suboccipital bone, and coming to rest in the right lateral medullary cistern. Following recovery from the hemiparesis, abrupt quadriparesis occurred coincident with fall of the bullet into the anterior spinal canal. The bullet was retrieved following a C-2 and C-3 laminectomy, and postoperative MR imaging confirmed signal change in the cord at the level where the bullet had lodged. The patient then made a good neurological recovery. Bullets can fall from the posterior fossa with sufficient momentum to cause an acute spinal cord injury. Consideration for craniotomy and bullet retrieval should be given to large bullets lying in the CSF spaces of the posterior fossa as they pose risk for acute spinal cord injury.

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Jason S. Cheng, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Jau-Ching Wu, Tsung-Hsi Tu and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approaches have gained popularity in many surgical fields. Potential advantages to a minimally invasive, spinal intradural approach include decreased operative blood loss, shorter hospitalization, and less post-operative pain. Potential disadvantages include longer operative times, decreased exposure, and difficulty closing the dura. Prior case series from our group and others have demonstrated successful tumor resections using MIS techniques without increased complications. In this 3D video, we demonstrate the key steps in our mini-open, transpinous approach for the resection of an intradural, extramedullary lumbar schwannoma. This operation is performed through a midline incision confined to one or two levels. The spinous process is removed. The paraspinal muscles are spread using a series of sequentially larger tubular dilators, and the first dilator is placed in the space previously occupied by the target level spinous process. The expandable tube retractor is then placed over the largest dilator and docked into place over the target laminae. The expandable tubular retractor is 6 centimeters in depth and 2.5 centimeters in width before expansion and is adjustable to 9 centimeters in depth and 4–5 centimeters in diameter which allows removal of intradural lesions confined to one or two spinal segments.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/l_C4VruKYng.

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Adeel Ilyas, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Davis G. Taylor, Shayan Moosa, Cheng-Chia Lee, Or Cohen-Inbar and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Several recent studies have improved our understanding of the outcomes of volume-staged (VS) and dose-staged (DS) stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the treatment of large (volume > 10 cm3) brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). In light of these recent additions to the literature, the aim of this systematic review is to provide an updated comparison of VS-SRS and DS-SRS for large AVMs.

METHODS

A systematic review of the literature was performed using PubMed to identify cohorts of 5 or more patients with large AVMs who had been treated with VS-SRS or DS-SRS. Baseline data and post-SRS outcomes were extracted for analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 11 VS-SRS and 10 DS-SRS studies comprising 299 and 219 eligible patients, respectively, were included for analysis. The mean obliteration rates for VS-SRS and DS-SRS were 41.2% (95% CI 31.4%–50.9%) and 32.3% (95% CI 15.9%–48.8%), respectively. Based on pooled individual patient data, the outcomes for patients treated with VS-SRS were obliteration in 40.3% (110/273), symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs) in 13.7% (44/322), post-SRS hemorrhage in 19.5% (50/256), and death in 7.4% (24/323); whereas the outcomes for patients treated with DS-SRS were obliteration in 32.7% (72/220), symptomatic RICs in 12.2% (31/254), post-SRS hemorrhage in 10.6% (30/282), and death in 4.6% (13/281).

CONCLUSIONS

Volume-staged SRS appears to afford higher obliteration rates than those achieved with DS-SRS, although with a less favorable complication profile. Therefore, VS-SRS or DS-SRS may be a reasonable treatment approach for large AVMs, either as stand-alone therapy or as a component of a multimodality management strategy.

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Chun-Po Yen, Dale Ding, Ching-Hsiao Cheng, Robert M. Starke, Mark Shaffrey and Jason Sheehan

Object

A relatively benign natural course of unruptured cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) has recently been recognized, and the decision to treat incidentally found AVMs has been questioned. This study aims to evaluate the long-term imaging and clinical outcomes of patients with asymptomatic, incidentally discovered AVMs treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

Thirty-one patients, each with an incidentally diagnosed AVM, underwent GKS between 1989 and 2009. The nidus volumes ranged from 0.3 to 11.1 cm3 (median 3.2 cm3). A margin dose between 15 and 26 Gy (median 20 Gy) was used to treat the AVMs. Four patients underwent repeat GKS for still-patent AVM residuals after the initial GKS procedure. Clinical follow-up ranged from 24 to 196 months, with a mean of 78 months (median 51 months) after the initial GKS.

Results

Following GKS, 19 patients (61.3%) had a total AVM obliteration on angiography. In 7 patients (22.6%), no flow voids were observed on MRI but angiographic confirmation was not available. In 5 patients (16.1%), the AVMs remained patent. A small nidus volume was significantly associated with increased AVM obliteration rate. Thirteen patients (41.9%) developed radiation-induced imaging changes: 11 were asymptomatic (35.5%), 1 had only headache (3.2%), and 1 developed seizure and neurological deficits (3.2%). Two patients each had 1 hemorrhage during the latency period (116.5 risk years), yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 1.7% before AVM obliteration.

Conclusions

The decision to treat asymptomatic AVMs, and if so, which treatment approach to use, remain the subject of debate. GKS as a minimally invasive procedure appears to achieve a reasonable outcome with low procedure-related morbidity. In those patients with incidental AVMs, the benefits as well as the risks of radiosurgical intervention will only be fully defined with long-term follow-up.