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Kathryn N. Kearns, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Kimberly Chadwell, Maureen Chandler, Therese Kiernan, Francesco Prada, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a relatively new imaging modality in the realm of neurosurgical disease. CEUS permits the examination of blood flow through arteries, veins, and capillaries via intravascular contrast agents and allows vascular architectural mapping with extreme sensitivity and specificity. While it has established utility in other organ systems such as the liver and kidneys, CEUS has not been studied extensively in the brain. This report presents a review of the literature on the neurosurgical applications of CEUS and provides an outline of the imaging modality’s role in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of neurosurgical disease.

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Yi-Chieh Hung, Nasser Mohammed, Thomas Jose Eluvathingal Muttikkal, Kathryn N. Kearns, Chelsea Eileen Li, Aditya Narayan, David Schlesinger, Zhiyuan Xu and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The benefits and risks of pre–stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) embolization have been reported in different studies. The goal of this study was to compare the long-term outcome of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) treated with and without pre-SRS embolization.

METHODS

A database including 1159 patients with AVMs who underwent SRS was reviewed. The embolized group was selected by including AVMs with pre-SRS embolization, maximal diameter > 30 mm, and estimated volume > 8 ml. The nonembolized group was defined as AVMs treated by SRS alone with matched de novo nidus volume. Outcomes including incidences of favorable clinical outcome (obliteration without hemorrhage, cyst formation, worsening, or new seizures), obliteration, adverse effects, and angioarchitectural complexity were evaluated.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 17 patients in the embolized group (median AVM volume 17.0 ml) and 35 patients in the nonembolized group (median AVM volume 13.1 ml). The rates of obliteration (embolized cohort: 33%, 44%, and 56%; nonembolized cohort: 32%, 47%, and 47% at 4, 6, and 10 years, respectively) and favorable outcome were comparable between the 2 groups. However, the embolized group had a significantly higher incidence of repeat SRS (41% vs 23%, p = 0.012) and total procedures (median number of procedures 4 vs 1, p < 0.001), even with a significantly higher margin dose delivered at the first SRS (23 Gy vs 17 Gy, p < 0.001). The median angioarchitectural complexity score was reduced from 7 to 5 after embolization. Collateral flow and neovascularization were more frequently observed in the embolized nonobliterated AVMs.

CONCLUSIONS

Both embolization plus SRS and SRS alone were effective therapies for moderately large (8–39 ml) AVMs. Even with a significantly higher prescription dose at the time of initial SRS, the embolized group still required more procedures to reach final obliteration. The presence of collateral flow and neovascularization could be risk factors for a failure to obliterate following treatment.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Kathryn N. Kearns, Dale Ding, Hideyuki Kano, David Mathieu, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Inga S. Grills, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the basal ganglia (BG) and thalamus are associated with elevated risks of both hemorrhage if left untreated and neurological morbidity after resection. Therefore, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become a mainstay in the management of these lesions, although its safety and efficacy remain incompletely understood. The aim of this retrospective multicenter cohort study was to evaluate the outcomes of SRS for BG and thalamic AVMs and determine predictors of successful endpoints and adverse radiation effects.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data on patients with BG or thalamic AVMs who had undergone SRS at eight institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) from 1987 to 2014. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs). Multivariable models were developed to identify independent predictors of outcome.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 363 patients with BG or thalamic AVMs. The mean AVM volume and SRS margin dose were 3.8 cm3 and 20.7 Gy, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 86.5 months. Favorable outcome was achieved in 58.5% of patients, including obliteration in 64.8%, with rates of post-SRS hemorrhage and permanent RIC in 11.3% and 5.6% of patients, respectively. Independent predictors of favorable outcome were no prior AVM embolization (p = 0.011), a higher margin dose (p = 0.008), and fewer isocenters (p = 0.044).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is the preferred intervention for the majority of BG and thalamic AVMs. Patients with morphologically compact AVMs that have not been previously embolized are more likely to have a favorable outcome, which may be related to the use of a higher margin dose.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Kathryn N. Kearns, Dale Ding, Shih-Wei Tzeng, Ahmet Atik, Krishna Joshi, Gene H. Barnett, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, David Mathieu, Christian Iorio-Morin, Inga S. Grills, Thomas J. Quinn, Zaid A. Siddiqui, Kim Marvin, Caleb Feliciano, Andrew Faramand, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Contrary to the better described obliteration- and hemorrhage-related data after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in pediatric patients, estimates of the rarer complications, including cyst and tumor formation, are limited in the literature. The aim of the present study was to assess the long-term outcomes and risks of SRS for AVMs in pediatric patients (age < 18 years).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation pediatric AVM database for the years 1987 to 2018. AVM obliteration, post-SRS hemorrhage, cyst formation, and tumor formation were assessed. Cumulative probabilities, adjusted for the competing risk of death, were calculated.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 539 pediatric AVM patients (mean follow-up 85.8 months). AVM obliteration was observed in 64.3% of patients, with cumulative probabilities of 63.6% (95% CI 58.8%–68.0%), 77.1% (95% CI 72.1%–81.3%), and 88.1% (95% CI 82.5%–92.0%) over 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. Post-SRS hemorrhage was observed in 8.4% of patients, with cumulative probabilities of 4.9% (95% CI 3.1%–7.2%), 9.7% (95% CI 6.4%–13.7%), and 14.5% (95% CI 9.5%–20.5%) over 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. Cyst formation was observed in 2.1% of patients, with cumulative probabilities of 5.5% (95% CI 2.3%–10.7%) and 6.9% (95% CI 3.1%–12.9%) over 10 and 15 years, respectively. Meningiomas were observed in 2 patients (0.4%) at 10 and 12 years after SRS, with a cumulative probability of 3.1% (95% CI 0.6%–9.7%) over 15 years.

CONCLUSIONS

AVM obliteration can be expected after SRS in the majority of the pediatric population, with a relatively low risk of hemorrhage during the latency period. Cyst and benign tumor formation after SRS can be observed in 7% and 3% of patients over 15 years, respectively. Longitudinal surveillance for delayed neoplasia is prudent despite its low incidence.

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Yi-Chieh Hung, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Nasser Mohammed, Kathryn N. Kearns, Shi-Bin Sun, David Mathieu, Charles J. Touchette, Ahmet F. Atik, Inga S. Grills, Bryan Squires, Dale Ding, Brian J. Williams, Mehran B. Yusuf, Shiao Y. Woo, Roman Liscak, Jaromir Hanuska, Jay C. Shiao, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford, Zhiyuan Xu and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Central neurocytomas (CNs) are uncommon intraventricular tumors, and their rarity renders the risk-to-benefit profile of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) unknown. The aim of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study was to evaluate the outcomes of SRS for CNs and identify predictive factors.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed a cohort of patients with CNs treated with SRS at 10 centers between 1994 and 2018. Tumor recurrences were classified as local or distant. Adverse radiation effects (AREs) and the need for a CSF shunt were also evaluated.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 60 patients (median age 30 years), 92% of whom had undergone prior resection or biopsy and 8% received their diagnosis based on imaging alone. The median tumor volume and margin dose were 5.9 cm3 and 13 Gy, respectively. After a median clinical follow-up of 61 months, post-SRS tumor recurrence occurred in 8 patients (13%). The 5- and 10-year local tumor control rates were 93% and 87%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 89% and 80%, respectively. AREs were observed in 4 patients (7%), but only 1 was symptomatic (2%). Two patients underwent post-SRS tumor resection (3%). Prior radiotherapy was a predictor of distant tumor recurrence (p = 0.044). Larger tumor volume was associated with pre-SRS shunt surgery (p = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment of appropriately selected CNs with SRS achieves good tumor control rates with a reasonable complication profile. Distant tumor recurrence and dissemination were observed in a small proportion of patients, which underscores the importance of close post-SRS surveillance of CN patients. Patients with larger CNs are more likely to require shunt surgery before SRS.

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Rebecca M. Burke, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Thomas J. Buell, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Kathryn N. Kearns, Shih-Wei Tzeng, Huai-che Yang, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Natasha Ironside, David Mathieu, Christian Iorio-Morin, Inga S. Grills, Caleb Feliciano, Gene H. Barnett, Robert M. Starke, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a treatment option for pediatric brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and early obliteration could encourage SRS utilization for a subset of particularly radiosensitive lesions. The objective of this study was to determine predictors of early obliteration after SRS for pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM database. Obliterated pediatric AVMs were sorted into early (obliteration ≤ 24 months after SRS) and late (obliteration > 24 months after SRS) responders. Predictors of early obliteration were identified, and the outcomes of each group were compared.

RESULTS

The overall study cohort was composed of 345 pediatric patients with obliterated AVMs. The early and late obliteration cohorts were made up of 95 (28%) and 250 (72%) patients, respectively. Independent predictors of early obliteration were female sex, a single SRS treatment, a higher margin dose, a higher isodose line, a deep AVM location, and a smaller AVM volume. The crude rate of post-SRS hemorrhage was 50% lower in the early (3.2%) than in the late (6.4%) obliteration cohorts, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.248). The other outcomes of the early versus late obliteration cohorts were similar, with respect to symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), cyst formation, and tumor formation.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately one-quarter of pediatric AVMs that become obliterated after SRS will achieve this radiological endpoint within 24 months of initial SRS. The authors identified multiple factors associated with early obliteration, which may aid in prognostication and management. The overall risks of delayed hemorrhage, RICs, cyst formation, and tumor formation were not statistically different in patients with early versus late obliteration.

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Yi-Chieh Hung, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Nasser Mohammed, Kathryn N. Kearns, Ahmed M. Nabeel, Khaled Abdel Karim, Reem M. Emad Eldin, Amr M. N. El-Shehaby, Wael A. Reda, Sameh R. Tawadros, Roman Liscak, Jana Jezkova, L. Dade Lunsford, Hideyuki Kano, Nathaniel D. Sisterson, Roberto Martínez Álvarez, Nuria E. Martínez Moreno, Douglas Kondziolka, John G. Golfinos, Inga Grills, Andrew Thompson, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Tanmoy Kumar Maiti, Gene H. Barnett, James McInerney, Brad E. Zacharia, Zhiyuan Xu and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The most common functioning pituitary adenoma is prolactinoma. Patients with medically refractory or residual/recurrent tumors that are not amenable to resection can be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The aim of this multicenter study was to evaluate the role of SRS for treating prolactinomas.

METHODS

This retrospective study included prolactinomas treated with SRS between 1997 and 2016 at ten institutions. Patients’ clinical and treatment parameters were investigated. Patients were considered to be in endocrine remission when they had a normal level of prolactin (PRL) without requiring dopamine agonist medications. Endocrine control was defined as endocrine remission or a controlled PRL level ≤ 30 ng/ml with dopamine agonist therapy. Other outcomes were evaluated including new-onset hormone deficiency, tumor recurrence, and new neurological complications.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 289 patients. The endocrine remission rates were 28%, 41%, and 54% at 3, 5, and 8 years after SRS, respectively. Following SRS, 25% of patients (72/289) had new hormone deficiency. Sixty-three percent of the patients (127/201) with available data attained endocrine control. Three percent of patients (9/269) had a new visual complication after SRS. Five percent of the patients (13/285) were recorded as having tumor progression. A pretreatment PRL level ≤ 270 ng/ml was a predictor of endocrine remission (p = 0.005, adjusted HR 0.487). An increasing margin dose resulted in better endocrine control after SRS (p = 0.033, adjusted OR 1.087).

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with medically refractory prolactinomas or a residual/recurrent prolactinoma, SRS affords remarkable therapeutic effects in endocrine remission, endocrine control, and tumor control. New-onset hypopituitarism is the most common adverse event.