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William A. Friedman and Kelly D. Foote

Despite major advances in skull base surgery and microsurgical techniques, surgery for vestibular schwannoma (VS) carries a risk of complications. Some are inherent to general anesthesia and surgery of any type and include myocardial infarction, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and infection. Some are specific to neurosurgery in this area of the brain, and include hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal fluid leak, facial nerve paralysis, facial numbness, hearing loss, ataxia, dysphagia, and major stroke. Even in the hands of very experienced acoustic surgeons, these risks cannot be eliminated.

Radiosurgery provides an outpatient, noninvasive alternative for the treatment of small acoustic schwannomas. Initially radiosurgery was undertaken in “high-risk” patients, including the elderly, those with severe medical comorbidities, and those in whom tumors recurred after surgery. Additionally, a high rate of cranial nerve morbidity was reported. With improvements in dosimetry planning and dose selection, however, authors practicing at radiosurgical centers now report very low complication rates, as well as high tumor control rates.

In this report the authors specifically review the results of linear accelerator–based radiosurgery for VS and compare these outcomes with the best surgical alternatives.

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Justin D. Hilliard and Kelly D. Foote

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Francisco A. Ponce, Kelly D. Foote and Andres M. Lozano

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Abuzer Güngör, Şevki Serhat Baydın, Vanessa M. Holanda, Erik H. Middlebrooks, Cihan Isler, Bekir Tugcu, Kelly Foote and Necmettin Tanriover


Despite the extensive use of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) as a deep brain stimulation (DBS) target, unveiling the extensive functional connectivity of the nucleus, relating its structural connectivity to the stimulation-induced adverse effects, and thus optimizing the STN targeting still remain challenging. Mastering the 3D anatomy of the STN region should be the fundamental goal to achieve ideal surgical results, due to the deep-seated and obscure position of the nucleus, variable shape and relatively small size, oblique orientation, and extensive structural connectivity. In the present study, the authors aimed to delineate the 3D anatomy of the STN and unveil the complex relationship between the anatomical structures within the STN region using fiber dissection technique, 3D reconstructions of high-resolution MRI, and fiber tracking using diffusion tractography utilizing a generalized q-sampling imaging (GQI) model.


Fiber dissection was performed in 20 hemispheres and 3 cadaveric heads using the Klingler method. Fiber dissections of the brain were performed from all orientations in a stepwise manner to reveal the 3D anatomy of the STN. In addition, 3 brains were cut into 5-mm coronal, axial, and sagittal slices to show the sectional anatomy. GQI data were also used to elucidate the connections among hubs within the STN region.


The study correlated the results of STN fiber dissection with those of 3D MRI reconstruction and tractography using neuronavigation. A 3D terrain model of the subthalamic area encircling the STN was built to clarify its anatomical relations with the putamen, globus pallidus internus, globus pallidus externus, internal capsule, caudate nucleus laterally, substantia nigra inferiorly, zona incerta superiorly, and red nucleus medially. The authors also describe the relationship of the medial lemniscus, oculomotor nerve fibers, and the medial forebrain bundle with the STN using tractography with a 3D STN model.


This study examines the complex 3D anatomy of the STN and peri-subthalamic area. In comparison with previous clinical data on STN targeting, the results of this study promise further understanding of the structural connections of the STN, the exact location of the fiber compositions within the region, and clinical applications such as stimulation-induced adverse effects during DBS targeting.

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Kelly D. Foote, William A. Friedman, Thomas L. Ellis, Frank J. Bova, John M. Buatti and Sanford L. Meeks

Object. The goal of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of patients who underwent repeated radiosurgery to treat a residual intracranial arteriovenous malformation (AVM) after an initial radiosurgical treatment failure.

Methods. The authors reviewed the cases of 52 patients who underwent repeated radiosurgery for residual AVM at the University of Florida between December 1991 and June 1998. In each case, residual arteriovenous shunting persisted longer than 36 months after the initial treatment; the mean interval between the first and second treatment was 41 months. Each AVM nidus was measured at the time of the original treatment and again at the time of retreatment, and the dosimetric parameters of the two treatments were compared. After retreatment, patients were followed up and their outcomes were evaluated according to a standard posttreatment protocol for radiosurgery for AVMs.

The mean original lesion volume was 13.8 cm3 and the mean volume at retreatment was 4.7 cm3, for an average volume reduction of 66% after the initial treatment failure. Only two AVMs (3.8%) failed to demonstrate size reduction after the primary treatment. The median doses on initial and repeated treatment were 12.5 and 15 Gy, respectively. Five patients were lost to follow up and five refused neuroimaging follow up. One patient died of a hemorrhage shortly after retreatment. Of the remaining 41 patients, 24 had evidence of cure, 15 on angiographic studies and nine on magnetic resonance (MR) images. Seventeen had evidence of treatment failure, 10 on angiographic studies and seven on MR images. By angiographic criteria alone, the cure rate after retreatment was 60%, whereas according to angiographic and MR imaging results, the cure rate was 59%.

Conclusions. Although initial radiosurgical treatment failed to obliterate the AVM in these 52 patients, it did produce a substantial therapeutic effect (volume reduction). This size reduction commonly allowed higher doses to be delivered during radiosurgical retreatment. The results show rates of angiographically confirmed cure comparable to primary treatment and a low incidence of complications, indicating that salvage radiosurgical retreatment is a safe and effective therapy in cases of failed AVM radiosurgery.

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Adam P. Burdick, Hubert H. Fernandez, Michael S. Okun, Yueh-Yun Chi, Charles Jacobson and Kelly D. Foote


Adverse event (AE) rates for deep brain stimulation (DBS) are variable, due to various methodologies used for identifying, collecting, and reporting AEs. This lack of a prospective, standardized AE collection method is a shortcoming in the advancement of DBS. In this paper the authors disclose the standardized and prospectively recorded AE data from their institution, correlated with clinical outcome and quality of life (QOL) measures.


All patients who underwent operations at the authors' institution for Parkinson disease (PD), essential tremor, dystonia, other tremor, and obsessive-compulsive disorder were included. Complications occurring intraoperatively or within the first 180 days following surgery were recorded, analyzed, and classified as mild, moderate, or severe, regardless of their perceived relationship to the procedure. The presence, frequency, and severity of AEs were compared with the following outcome measurements: postoperative change in the QOL scales (Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Survey, 39-Item PD Questionnaire); motor scales (Tremor Rating Scale, Unified Dystonia Rating Scale, Unified PD Rating Scale); and Patient Global Impression Scale (PGIS).


Two hundred seventy DBS procedures were performed in 198 patients. Three hundred AEs were recorded in 146 (54.1%) of the 270 procedures, and the AEs were recorded in 119 (60.1%) of 198 patients. Of the 198 patients, the maximum severity of AEs was mild in 28 (14.1%), moderate in 35 (17.7%), and severe in 56 (28.3%). Of the 300 AEs, 102 (34.1%) of 299 were mild, 106 (35.5%) were moderate, and 91 (30.4%) were severe. The AEs were classified as probably not stimulation induced in 10 (3.4%) of 297, probably in 44 (14.9%), unclear for 89 (30%), and not applicable to stimulation in 154 (51.9%). Adverse events were also classified as probably related to surgery in 111 (37.2%) of 298, possibly related in 96 (32.2%), and probably not related to surgery in 91 (30.5%). There was no significant difference (p = 0.22) in QOL outcomes among patients who had no AEs compared with those who experienced mild, moderate, or severe AEs. There was no significant difference in QOL outcomes between patients who did not experience an AE compared with those who experienced any AE. There was no significant difference in the mean General PGIS score between patients without an AE versus those with any AE, as well as on the Symptom-Specific PGIS. Motor function outcomes did not vary between patients with or without AEs. For patients with PD with or without AEs, there was no significant difference in preoperative off-medicine Unified PD Rating Scale score and postoperative 6-month on-medication/on-stimulation change scores (p = 0.59). For patients with tremor there were no differences between those with or without AEs on the Tremor Rating Scale for motor function or activities of daily living. Patients with dystonia with and without AEs showed no differences in the Unified Dystonia Rating Scale.


Prospectively and systematically recording AEs may result in higher AE rates, but this does not correlate with poorer QOL, motor function, or patient-oriented outcome scores.

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William A. Friedman, Gregory J. Murad, Patrick Bradshaw, Robert J. Amdur, William M. Mendenhall, Kelly D. Foote and Frank J. Bova

Object. In this paper the authors review the results of a single-center experience in the use of linear accelerator (LINAC) surgery for radiosurgical treatment of meningiomas.

Methods. A retrospective analysis of all patients treated with LINAC surgery for meningiomas between May 1989 and December 2001 was performed. All patients participated in follow-up review for a minimum of 2 years, and no patients were excluded. Two hundred ten patients were treated during the study interval.

The actuarial local control rate for benign tumors was 100% at both 1 and 2 years, and 96% at 5 years. The actuarial local control rate for atypical tumors was 100% at 1 year, 92% at 2 years, and 77% at 5 years; and that for malignant tumors was 100% at both 1 and 2 years, and only 19% at 5 years. Of the 210 patients 13 (6.2%) experienced temporary radiation-induced complications, and only five (2.3%) experienced permanent complications. In all patients with a permanent complication the histological characteristics of the meningioma were malignant.

Conclusions. Linear accelerator surgery produced high local control rates and very low rates of permanent morbidity in patients harboring benign meningiomas.

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Kelly D. Foote, William A. Friedman, John M. Buatti, Sanford L. Meeks, Frank J. Bova and Paul S. Kubilis

Object. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with delayed cranial neuropathy following radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma (VS or acoustic neuroma) and to determine how such factors may be manipulated to minimize the incidence of radiosurgical complications while maintaining high rates of tumor control.

Methods. From July 1988 to June 1998, 149 cases of VS were treated using linear accelerator radiosurgery at the University of Florida. In each of these cases, the patient's tumor and brainstem were contoured in 1-mm slices on the original radiosurgical targeting images. Resulting tumor and brainstem volumes were coupled with the original radiosurgery plans to generate dose—volume histograms. Various tumor dimensions were also measured to estimate the length of cranial nerve that would be irradiated. Patient follow-up data, including evidence of cranial neuropathy and radiographic tumor control, were obtained from a prospectively maintained, computerized database. The authors performed statistical analyses to compare the incidence of posttreatment cranial neuropathies or tumor growth between patient strata defined by risk factors of interest. One hundred thirty-nine of the 149 patients were included in the analysis of complications. The median duration of clinical follow up for this group was 36 months (range 18–94 months). The tumor control analysis included 133 patients. The median duration of radiological follow up in this group was 34 months (range 6–94 months).

The overall 2-year actuarial incidences of facial and trigeminal neuropathies were 11.8% and 9.5%, respectively. In 41 patients treated before 1994, the incidences of facial and trigeminal neuropathies were both 29%, but in the 108 patients treated since January 1994, these rates declined to 5% and 2%, respectively.

An evaluation of multiple risk factor models showed that maximum radiation dose to the brainstem, treatment era (pre-1994 compared with 1994 or later), and prior surgical resection were all simultaneously informative predictors of cranial neuropathy risk. The radiation dose prescribed to the tumor margin could be substituted for the maximum dose to the brainstem with a small loss in predictive strength. The pons—petrous tumor diameter was an additional statistically significant simultaneous predictor of trigeminal neuropathy risk, whereas the distance from the brainstem to the end of the tumor in the petrous bone was an additional marginally significant simultaneous predictor of facial neuropathy risk.

The overall radiological tumor control rate was 93% (59% tumors regressed, 34% remained stable, and 7.5% enlarged), and the 5-year actuarial tumor control rate was 87% (95% confidence interval [CI] 76–98%). Analysis revealed that a radiation dose cutpoint of 10 Gy compared with more than 10 Gy prescribed to the tumor margin yielded the greatest relative difference in tumor growth risk (relative risk 2.4, 95% CI 0.6–9.3), although this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.207).

Conclusions. Five points must be noted. 1) Radiosurgery is a safe, effective treatment for small VSs. 2) Reduction in the radiation dose has played the most important role in reducing the complications associated with VS radiosurgery. 3) The dose to the brainstem is a more informative predictor of postradiosurgical cranial neuropathy than the length of the nerve that is irradiated. 4) Prior resection increases the risk of late cranial neuropathies after radiosurgery. 5) A prescription dose of 12.5 Gy to the tumor margin resulted in the best combination of maximum tumor control and minimum complications in this series.

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Unilateral or bilateral deep brain stimulation

Kim J. Burchiel

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Rene Molina, Michael S. Okun, Jonathan B. Shute, Enrico Opri, P. Justin Rossi, Daniel Martinez-Ramirez, Kelly D. Foote and Aysegul Gunduz

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a promising intervention for the treatment of select movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. Current DBS therapies deliver electrical stimulation continuously and are not designed to adapt to a patient’s symptoms. Continuous DBS can lead to rapid battery depletion, which necessitates frequent surgery for battery replacement. Next-generation neurostimulation devices can monitor neural signals from implanted DBS leads, where stimulation can be delivered responsively, moving the field of neuromodulation away from continuous paradigms. To this end, the authors designed and chronically implemented a responsive stimulation paradigm in a patient with medically refractory Tourette syndrome. The patient underwent implantation of a responsive neurostimulator, which is capable of responsive DBS, with bilateral leads in the centromedian-parafascicular (Cm-Pf) region of the thalamus. A spectral feature in the 5- to 15-Hz band was identified as the control signal. Clinical data collected prior to and after 12 months of responsive therapy revealed improvements from baseline scores in both Modified Rush Tic Rating Scale and Yale Global Tic Severity Scale scores (64% and 48% improvement, respectively). The effectiveness of responsive stimulation (p = 0.16) was statistically identical to that of scheduled duty cycle stimulation (p = 0.33; 2-sided Wilcoxon unpaired rank-sum t-test). Overall, responsive stimulation resulted in a 63.3% improvement in the neurostimulator’s projected mean battery life. Herein, to their knowledge, the authors present the first proof of concept for responsive stimulation in a patient with Tourette syndrome.