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Amparo Wolf, Amy Tyburczy, Jason Chao Ye, Girish Fatterpekar, Joshua S. Silverman and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECTIVE

Approximately 75%–92% of patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) achieve pain relief after Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), although a proportion of these patients will experience recurrence of their pain. To evaluate the reasons for durability or recurrence, this study determined the impact of trigeminal nerve length and volume, the nerve dose-volume relationship, and the presence of neurovascular compression (NVC) on pain outcomes after GKS for TN.

METHODS

Fifty-eight patients with 60 symptomatic nerves underwent GKS for TN between 2013 and 2015, including 15 symptomatic nerves secondary to multiple sclerosis (MS). High-resolution MRI was acquired the day of GKS. The median maximum dose was 80 Gy for initial GKS and 65 Gy for repeat GKS. NVC, length and volume of the trigeminal nerve within the subarachnoid space of the posterior fossa, and the ratio of dose to nerve volume were assessed as predictors of recurrence.

RESULTS

Follow-up was available on 55 patients. Forty-nine patients (89.1%) reported pain relief (Barrow Neurological Institute [BNI] Grades I–IIIb) after GKS at a median duration of 1.9 months. The probability of maintaining pain relief (BNI Grades I–IIIb) without requiring resumption or an increase in medication was 93% at 1 year and 84% at 2 years for patients without MS, and 68% at 1 year and 51% at 2 years for all patients. The nerve length, nerve volume, target distance from the brainstem, and presence of NVC were not predictive of pain recurrence. Patients with a smaller volume of nerve (< 35% of the total nerve volume) that received a high dose (≥ 80% isodose) were less likely to experience recurrence of their TN pain after 1 year (mean time to recurrence: < 35%, 32.2 ± 4.0 months; > 35%, 17.9 ± 2.8 months, log-rank test, χ2 = 4.3, p = 0.039).

CONCLUSIONS

The ratio of dose to nerve volume may predict recurrence of TN pain after GKS. Prospective studies are needed to determine the optimal dose to nerve volume ratio and whether this will result in longer pain-free outcomes.

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Amparo Wolf, Svetlana Kvint, Abraham Chachoua, Anna Pavlick, Melissa Wilson, Bernadine Donahue, John G. Golfinos, Joshua Silverman and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of brain metastases is increasing with improved systemic therapies, many of which have a limited impact on intracranial disease. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a first-line management option for brain metastases. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a threshold tumor size below which local control (LC) rates approach 100%, and to relate these findings to the use of routine surveillance brain imaging.

METHODS

From a prospective registry, 200 patients with 1237 brain metastases were identified who underwent SRS between December 2012 and May 2015. The median imaging follow-up duration was 7.9 months, and the median margin dose was 18 Gy. The maximal diameter and volume of tumors were measured. Histological analysis included 96 patients with non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), 40 with melanoma, 35 with breast cancer, and 29 with other histologies.

RESULTS

Almost 50% of brain metastases were NSCLCs and commonly measured less than 6 mm in maximal diameter or 70 mm3 in volume. Thirty-three of 1237 tumors had local progression at a median of 8.8 months. The 1- and 2-year actuarial LC rates were 97% and 93%, respectively. LC of 100% was achieved for all intracranial metastases less than 100 mm3 in volume or 6 mm in diameter. Patients whose tumors at first SRS were less than 10 mm maximal diameter or a volume of 250 mm3 had improved overall survival.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS can achieve LC rates approaching 100% for subcentimeter metastases. The earlier initial detection and prompt treatment of small intracranial metastases may prevent the development of neurological symptoms and the need for resection, and improve overall survival. To identify tumors when they are small, routine surveillance brain imaging should be considered as part of the standard of care for lung, breast, and melanoma metastases.

■ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: prognostic; study design: retrospective cohort; evidence: Class II.