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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, 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.